“Brothers, we are not professionals!”

I am not sure when the terminology change took place (apparently I didn’t receive the memo) although I would expect that it happened sometime during the last 60 years: People no longer speak of the Pastor’s Study, but they speak of the Pastor’s Office. I suppose it is not really an earth-shattering change; people are actually describing the same place. The geographical area is still filled with books, just as it always has been (well, at least since Guttenberg came along), although now the ever present computer has a prominent place (and I readily admit that BibleWorks is an exceptional tool).

Why do I concern myself with such trifles? I suppose it is the connotation attached to the two words. Office seems to be saying “business, occupation, and work” while Study communicates “people, life, and pastoral care.” Office shouts, “leadership” while Study whispers, “servanthood.” I am reminded of our Lord’s purpose during His incarnation and our calling after His ascension:

25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,  27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,  28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

While pastors are not Apostles, I believe it is significant that during a particular crisis in the church of the first century the Apostles declared (and we should heed), “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables…we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:2, 4) While it is important for pastors to be involved in the lives of their people, the most important thing a pastor does every week, is to hole away in his Study, dig into the inerrant Word of God, and with God’s enablement, prepare a message from God to His covenant people.

May all pastors keep this phrase borrowed from John Piper in the forefront of our hearts and minds, “Brothers, we are not professionals!”

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1 Comment

  1. Brent said,

    August 11, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    Amen, this is probably THE reason why the church is in such decline in America.
    “But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ But they have not all obeyed the gospel, For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?’ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing throught the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:14-17)


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