Pastoral Leadership: A Word From Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards quote, pastoral leadership

Ministers of the gospel ought to...shine forth brightly in all their conversation; and there should as it were be a light about them wherever they go, exhibiting to all that behold them, the amiable, delightful image of the beauty and brightness of their glorious Master.  Jonathan Edwards

 

I was up very early this morning. I didn't immediately move into my devotional regula but answered a few mails, read a few blogs that I have been behind on. These blogs were all dealing with the issue of the "celebrity pastor" feature of the contemporary North American church; and of the fall of these celebrity pastors; and of the, at times, acrimonious debates that go on over the internet on matters of theology.

I had a recent conversation with a good friend about the constant struggle to hold truth and love in creative, dynamic tension... a very hard thing to do, I might add, especially when it comes to particular people, situations, and beliefs. 

This thought from Jonathan Edwards on pastoral leadership, and the quality of life that is required of those, is very moving. Hmmm... is this what others would say of me? Is this what I would say of the pastors I know? That people see in us the amiable, delightful image of the beauty and brightness of their glorious Master? 

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I also read this old word from John Newton the pastor and author of the beautiful hymn - Amazing Grace. It was a letter addressed to another pastor who was about to publicly criticize another. As I read Newton's words, you sense this is one who does bear that amiable, delightful image...

With this, I am not saying we cannot speak clearly and persuasively about truth. In our time, such communication is even more vital. I just think that an amiable, delightful image bearer will be best positioned to speak of the beauty and brightness of our glorious Master.

 

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

BrianRice@lcileaders.org