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New Covenant Pastoring


Recently I read a discussion board among pastors who were discussing various choices that Christians make in their lives. Choices which are not forbidden by Scripture but are hotly debated between Christians and groups of Christians.

Pastor Ray Ortlund, Jr. had one of the most helpful and insightful statements about the role of a pastor. Here it is:

“Old Covenant pastoring hovers over people because they keep messing up (Deuteronomy 31:27).  The pastor’s opinions are constantly necessary.  New Covenant pastoring marvels at how God is at work in the people (Philippians 2:12-13).  The pastor is head cheerleader for what the Lord is already doing.

“We are to confront, of course, as one pastoral strategy among others (2 Timothy 4:2).  But only when a church member disobeys a clear teaching of the Bible, chapter and verse.

“In general, for anyone to presume to pry into another person’s heart and motives, scrutinizing their deeper problems — in my opinion, that is not the work of a pastor until someone asks for such help.  Unrequested diagnoses of inner motives cross a line.  It never actually helps anyone — not until they ask for it first.” @rayortlund