On Pastoral Laziness

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At the outset of a difficult topic -- pastoral laziness -- I want to be clear that my purpose is to encourage both pastors and their congregations. Where conflict arises over the minister's work ethic, I believe most of the time there is a path forward to strengthen the bonds of affection that should exist between a pastor and his congregation.

That said, here are some hard words: Apart from heretical doctrine or immorality, one of the most serious charges that can be levelled against a pastor is sloth. In the judgment of his congregation, he fails to take his cues from the "hard-working farmer," one of Paul's models for pastoral ministry (2 Timothy 2:6), and seems unfamiliar with Solomon's exhortation: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

The evidence is not difficult to detect: poorly prepared and delivered sermons, failure to visit and care for the flock, chaotic administration, and invisibility in the community. Laziness is a serious sin. Haphazard shepherding of God's flock is inexcusable, a dereliction of God-given duty. It also insults the congregation who provides his salary so that he might pursue the work of ministry "free from worldly cares and avocations" (Presbyterian Church in America, Book of Church Order, 20-6).

Fortunately....

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Posted November 18, 2019 @ 3:14 PM by Charles Wingard

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