missional pastors

Tod Bolsinger responds to Gali on chaplains today:

But increasingly, this is not the mission of the church today. In a post-Christendom context, the metaphor of pastor as healer, chaplain, or curer of souls is inadequate to the task and literally killing the church.  Churches that continue to cling to a Christendom context and expectation for pastors (as seen mostly in mainline churches like my own) are dramatically in decline and becoming increasingly irrelevant to the changing cultural contexts that are far more like a mission field in the first century than the cultural contexts of the most recent past centuries for which Galli (and most of us, frankly—even me) pine nostalgically.

But that day is gone.

The Missional Movement, as originally inspired by the insights of Lesslie Newbigin expressed theologically by Darrell Guder and others, has given rise to an entirely different understanding of a pastor as the leader of a people in mission.

In this post-Christendom context, the congregation, not the pastor, is the embodiment of Jesus (literally “the body of Christ”).  The congregation, not the pastor, is the true ‘healer of souls’ going into the world to demonstrate and proclaim the reign of God.

Read more here.


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