Just a little while ago, Gerald Hiestand gave me a signed copy of The Pastor as Theologians: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision (Zondervan). I am eager to dive into the book (but I have other necessary readings that are competing for priority at the moment). Here is a teaser from the opening chapter:
Pastor theologians aren’t extinct, but sightings are rare. This is because pastors no longer traffic ideas. They cast vision, manage programs, offer counsel, and give messages. We expect our pastors to be able to preach; we expect them to know how to lead; we expect them to be good at solving problems and giving direction. None of this is inherently wrong. Indeed, all of these are important pastoral tasks. But we no longer view the pastorate as an intellectual calling (11).
What happened to the intellectual calling? Why do churches overlook this aspect of pastoral work? How are churches strengthened by pastors who understand that they are, and must be, their congregations’ chief theologians? How do we recover this calling? Hiestand and Wilson will help us find our way back to this calling.
(Want to help strengthen significantly your church’s Gospel ministry to you, your children and grandchildren, and to those who need to hear the Gospel? Read The Pastor as Theologian from cover to cover, give a copy to an elder you know [or if you’re Baptist, to a deacon, if you are friends with one believes in reading for spiritual growth and understands that he should do so for his church’s sake], and gift one to your pastor with an encouraging note attached. If you are a pastor, you should not be offended if a member gifts you such a book; instead, be encouraged that you have a member who cares for you and the congregation.)
I am benefiting from Hiestand and Wilson’s pastor-as-theologian-approach to ministry to my family and our congregation. May your congregation have such joys.