By: David Son
What is a pastor? And how do you teach someone to become one?
After three years of theological academia and three weeks of the pastoral residency, I think I am beginning to see the answers to those questions.
A pastor doesn’t learn evangelism through lectures on how to give Bible studies. Evangelism is learned with Christ when a drug dealer, about to sit down for dinner, asks you to pray for a blessing on his home. “And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it…”
A pastor doesn’t learn homiletics simply through weekly classes on sermon preparation. The foolishness of preaching is learned when, alone, three hours away in a church where you know no one, a congregation hears that they and their children will be great for God. Christ says to you, “lift me higher, lift me higher…”
A pastor doesn’t learn about the home life just because he’s headquartered in a domestic environment. Family life is learned as the grief of the Father weighs heavy as housemates learn to reconcile a broken home. “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
A pastor doesn’t learn counseling through a syllabus and required readings. The Holy Spirit decides your instruction as a grown man weeps to you on the phone about spiritual battles within his family. Counsel is given by God himself, “comfort, comfort ye my people…”
Pastors aren’t trained by merely being taught about the pastoral ministry. Pastors are trained when they are given the opportunity to learn from Christ himself.
Three weeks and three years into my theological training, I have learned many things about what an effective pastor should look like: As I walk with Christ in ministry, I am becoming just that.
David Son is a Resident in the CAMPUS Ministerial Residency Program. He writes this reflection after completing three weeks of in-the-field training in conjunction with the University Seventh-day Adventist Church in East Lansing.
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