The Pastor’s Table
At the first council of the church in Jerusalem, there are recorded in Acts 15, a couple of inconspicuous details about that conference that are pretty revealing. The issue the early church was having to decide was whether or not the gentile converts to Christianity needed to fulfill the entire Jewish law. (The answer was “no.”) In a letter that was written reporting this event, the Apostles revealed how it was they came to their decision. Luke reported that it was only after “much discussion” (Acts 15:7a, NIV) that they came to their decision, and this is how they reported that decision. They wrote: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” (Acts 15:28a, NIV) Thus, this significant decision regarding what it would mean to be a Christian was a collaborative effort on the part of all the Apostles and elders, guided by the Holy Spirit.
The collaboration among the leaders of the early church was a practical application of the theological principle which has come to be known as the “priesthood of believers.” “Priesthood of believers” affirms that God the Holy Spirit inhabits everyone who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord, and that no one person, therefore, has any greater access to God than anyone else. God was pouring out His Spirit on all people! The Apostles’, therefore, listened to one another since the Holy Spirit was speaking through all of them! “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…”
“The Pastor’s Table” podcast will follow the lead of that first council of the church. It will be a collaborative conversation among pastors, co-hosted by Rev. Tara Beth Leach and Dr. Mark R. Quanstrom, who are both pastors, with one or two guest pastors “at the table” each month. We will be discussing the multiple challenges facing pastors, who by the way, are leaving pastoral ministry at an alarming rate. The challenges facing 21st century pastors are daunting and disheartening. It is our hope that pastors who listen to honest conversation among fellow pastors will be encouraged, and will even find good counsel.
And just as the early church applied the theological truth of “priesthood of believers,” to how they resolved a pretty divisive issue, “The Pastor’s Table” podcast will be discussing how theological convictions should inform what pastors do. We do not believe that enough consideration is being given to how our theology should inform our practice, and we believe that pastors who work out of a theological vision will be more resilient than pastors who work for pragmatic results. In short, we believe that pastoral resilience is a result of theological integrity, that is, a result of practices that are aligned with our theological convictions.
“The Pastor’s Table” podcast will be authentic conversation among pastors about the challenges facing pastors. Through collaborative conversation, with attention given to how our theological convictions inform how we pastor, we hope that the Holy Spirit will provide encouragement and good counsel to those who pastor in the 21st century, just as the Spirit did in the 1st.
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