When I meet Jesus at youth summer retreat
I experienced my Lord when I prayed with my friends at Bible camp. I didn’t know much about prayer or how to do it at that time, but when I saw my friend praying, the enthusiasm and energy for praying arose in my mind and I realized profoundly that Jesus Christ was pierced for my transgression (Isaiah 53:5). I confessed all my sins to him and received Jesus Christ as my Savior. He lifted me out of the slimy pit of sin, out of the mud and mire of spiritual death. It was my first experience of the Lord’s Love and forgiveness and as a result, I changed the values in my life. After that, I haven t been able to stop preaching the Gospel to my friends and my colleagues, and several friends believed in Jesus Christ through my preaching. In addition, I came to know His limitless love for me during junior high school and decided to surrender my life to God s will.
We believe that war and blood shed are contrary to the Christian conception of human welfare, and violate the basic principles of universal brotherhood. Therefore, war and blood shed are not compatible with the gospel and spirit of Christ. We also believe that a warless world is the ideal toward which all men and all nations should strive. Such an order is possible if men will follow the way of Him who is the Prince of Peace, and it is the duty of every Christian to promote peace and good will. Christianity supports the spirit of understanding, mutual trust, and cooperation among all the peoples and nations of the world
The Pastor and The Teaching Ministry
Most ministries that pastors perform in the church relate to teaching. In preaching, small group work, counseling, and Bible study, pastors duties are to teach Christians just as Jesus did. Jesus nurtured His disciples through His teaching ministry, and one of functions of His preaching and instruction in the Bible was to teach people so that they would know what they did not recognize, understand, and hear before.
Jesus Christ, as pastor and teacher, provides the model for all pastors today. From His dual role as pastor and teacher, pastors today derive the challenge to imitate His character and follow Him to be loving and spiritual teachers. Moreover, from His relationship as the teacher with His learners, we pastors can learn His various teaching skills, we can recognize how Jesus treated people in order to form a good relationship between teacher and learners, and we can prepare for becoming spiritual teachers who serve people in the postmodern age.
The Position of Pastor and Teacher
William Willimon provides insight for pastors ordained to serve the church in the postmodern world. Willimon discusses the roles of the pastor in practice today and investigates the biblical theology of the position of pastor. Willimon emphasizes that pastors need self-reflection in order to recognize the meaning of the role of pastor as teacher that Jesus showed, and they need to equip themselves with various functional and spiritual skills to server the different and unique individuals in our congregations today.
In educational practice, the teacher and the learner coexist as an essential unit. Even though the teacher s main role in secular education is to deliver academic skills to a learner who needs to use knowledge in the real world, the most important role of the teacher in Christian education, particularly church education, is to become a spiritual model to lead learners to follow Jesus Christ in Christian faith and love. Good point. In this sense, the role of a pastor as teacher is to undertake the responsibility to lead people to meet God personally, to nurture them to follow Jesus Christ, and to help them live with the Holy Spirit.
Willimon mentions that the Bible often emphasizes the importance of the teaching ministry of those who are anointed to deliver God s messages to His people. In the Old Testament, God often entrusted spiritual leaders to teach God s messages to His people. The reason for teaching is that His people did not worship God, because they had no knowledge (Hosea 4:6 and Isaiah 5:13). The New Testament repeatedly indicates the importance of teaching for those who were the apostles, teachers, and pastors called to enlighten people who were ignorant.
The authors of the four Gospels and the apostle Paul frequently designate Jesus as a teacher, since Jesus taught people as His usual activity. The main ministry of the apostles was also to teach the people the Gospel of the Kingdom. Willimon claims that teaching was Jesus priority in ministry because, as he says, the first thing Jesus does for them, sensing that they are like sheep without a shepherd, is not feed them, but teach.
Sometimes the teaching principles that Jesus used seem to be too simple, and some scholars have doubts whether the teaching methods of Jesus are effective for the growth of spirituality for Christians. Our times and His times are after all totally different in terms of teaching. However, Roy Zuck emphasizes that modern pastors still need to learn the teaching methods of Jesus: The methods Jesus used are as effective today as when he used them. The problems he confronted are similar to those confronted by men in all ages when seeking to impart religious truth. The truths he taught are to be communicated today as well, for we are to teach others to obey everything [he has] commanded (Matt. 28:20).
The Teaching Ministry as One of The Major Duties of Pastors.
Pastors in the postmodern world need various teaching skills to teach Christians spiritually, since each person today has a unique personality, background, and character. This uniqueness affects how individuals learn and experience Christian faith through church education. However, as Willimon emphasizes, pastors in their teaching have to focus on the Bible and on what Jesus taught. Thus, pastors in their teaching ministry in the church need to concentrate on achieving the goals that the Bible lays out.
In my own view, based on theology, my church experience, and my personal background, the teaching ministry of pastors in the church must aim to make Christians more mature in seeking to follow Jesus Christ in their lives. Through the teaching ministry of the Church, Christians learn and practice how to recover the image of God and how to live piously as children of God in the world. They learn to evangelize His good news and to prove His Word in order to serve non-Christians with the love of God. Through the teaching ministry, church members find a spiritual identity as Christians. Through programs of the teaching ministry such as adult Sunday school, seminars and workshops, small groups, discipleship and mentoring, and fellowship events that pastors do, the church can enable Christians to follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The teaching ministry of pastors includes, first of all, all programs and events of the church designed to help Christians grow spiritually. As a pastor and student majoring in Educational Ministry, my own goal for the teaching ministry in the church is to shape Christians spiritually and to equip faithful children of God. This is the purpose of the Lord s church and the vocation of ministers. Normally, through worship services, various Bible study groups, and events such as out-reach, camp, prayer meetings, and fellowship programs, the church performs this main duty for Christians growth and the glory of God. Through the activities of the teaching ministry, Christians can more personally respond to God s calling, grow up with mature faith, find their personal vocation, and struggle to live with a dependence on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
All adult members from new converts to leaders and from newcomers to mature members must participate in the learning activities provided by the teaching ministry for their spiritual growth, since all Christians need more OF God s grace and need to learn from God s Word and reflect the life of Christ as they daily follow Him in their different spiritual and personal environments. Essentially, the role of pastors in the church is to lead Christians to personally meet our Savior Jesus Christ, to know our Almighty God, and to walk with our Counselor the Holy Spirit. Also, based on the relationship with God, Christians can make a loving personal relationship with others.
Another important goal of the teaching ministry is to develop members into spiritual leaders as Moses did (Exodus 18:25). It is to share ministers leadership effectively and to use their God-given talents for His kingdom. Making lay leaders is very pivotal work just as Jesus chose and educated disciples for the next generation. The apostles and the apostle Paul also called and nurtured some Christians to proclaim the good news as evangelists and to manage the church with shared responsibility. In making leaders for service in the church, pastors need to pay careful attention to select, oversee, and train members over a long time. Pastors also need to approach Christians from various angles to nurture them, since members are living in many different environments economically, personally, physically, and psychologically. This nurturing process for making leaders is not easy and takes lots of money, but it is the commandment of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20) and one of the most important duties within the church. Through pastoral teaching ministries, Christians can naturally be grown to leaders in the church. Making leaders is an important duty of pastors as part of their teaching ministry.
The final goal of the teaching ministry by pastors is that of teaching Christians to live with the Holy Spirit in the real world. This goal entails two different emphases but is actually one goal. The first emphasis is to proclaim His Words to unbelievers through a faithful and loving attitude as children of God. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as He has loved us (John 13:34). The second emphasis is to serve non-Christians, and it includes the goal of recovering God s order of creation and making peace under His sovereignty. Jesus says that we should be the salt and light of the world and through our goodness should become spiritual messengers of God to introduce our Savior and Lord. These processes are my final goal for the teaching ministry of pastors in the church. I firmly believe that Christians will follow Jesus Christ and find Christian identity through the right teaching of pastors in the church.
In sum, the teaching of pastors in the church has various functions in order to shape Christians into mature children of God. Thus, the goal of pastors teaching is to develop the process of becoming Christians who continuously struggle to resemble Jesus Christ, regain God s image, and live with the Holy Spirit. It also means that all Christians must act out His love in their Sitz im Leben as Jesus did. From these considerations, it is clear that the teaching ministry of pastors in the church provides for the growth of Christians in their spiritual relationship with God and others, for leadership training, and for the practice of love.