The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision captures the very essence of why PenteostalPastor.com was first conceived and then created. The inside front flap of the book cover begins with the premise of their work that so powerfully articulates my belief that I’ll quote it here:
Many pastors today see themselves primarily as counselors, leaders, and motivators. Yet this often comes at the expense of the fundamental reality of the pastorate as a theological office. The most important role is to be a theologian mediating God to the people. The church needs pastors who can contextualize the Word of God to help their congregations think theologically about all aspects of their lives, such as work, end-of-life decision, political involvement, and entertainment choices.
[The authors make] a clarion call for pastors to serve as public theologians in their congregations and communities. The church needs pastors to read the world in light of Scripture and to direct their congregations in ways of wisdom, shalom, and human flourishing. The Pastor as Public Theologian calls for a paradigm shift in the very idea of what a pastor is and does, setting forth a positive alternative picture.
I wish I had written that. This is why I have launched PentecostalPastor.com. The Word of God is so powerful and life-changing that it has transformed not simply individual lives – as important as that may be – but entire nations and, of course, the world. Pastors of local congregations historically were theologians applying the Word on a daily basis to their members and as a result became the most influential leaders in their communities. Without setting one against the other, it is important to note that the Pastor-Theologian was/is a higher calling and more important office than the Academic-Theologian. As Strachan and Vanhoozer rightly point out in the preface of their book, “Ministry is a lot harder than scholarship” precisely because the pastor is required to employ theological concepts as tangible manifestation in the dynamic and authentic context of people and community.
As a church planter and long-term pastor (20 years as lead pastor of a Pentecostal church in Michigan), I embrace the underlying principles of what has been labeled as the church growth movement. Indeed as a Pentecostal, in most cases, I anticipate numerical growth of the Kingdom precisely because the Holy Spirit is the Great Evangelist. However, too often, lacking a pastor as public theologian, our growing congregations are popular, but not influential. This is not to dismiss their contribution to the well-being of the Body of Christ, for that is real and undeniable. Rather I intend to point out, if I can paraphrase Paul’s excitement concerning the blessings the church will receive when Israel is restored, that “how much more their fullness” when God raises up pastor-theologians once again.
To state that as a pastor “the most important role is to be a theologian mediating God to the people” does not mean it is the exclusive role, nor does it mean that there are not other vital roles. By its very nature, the office of pastor demands strong and effective leadership skills. The requirement to lead the congregation in applying theology in every area of life is just one reason “ministry is a lot harder than scholarship.” PentecostalPastor.com provides what I believe are some of the finest leadership training and development programs available.
Nehemiah Leadership Principles, created by Pentecostal pastor Kelvin Page, and Legendary Leadership, from author and Global Impact World Ministry founder, Dr. Monte Wilson III (Monte also served for 10 years as the pastor of a charismatic Episcopalian congregation), are available through this site. Further, both offer certification options for pastors and church leaders who desire to pursue an advanced level of training and, with some limitations due to their ongoing ministry, available for speaking and training engagements.
We offer many sound, interesting Bible and doctrinal studies for Sunday school, small group, or even personal use. All are Biblically solid, historically orthodox approaches with life-giving and life-changing real world application. Also you’ll find ideas and approaches to practical ministry, such as raising money, how to communicate effectively and clearly through your website along with regularly updated content you can use or link to on your site, sermon resources and preaching ideas.
I created PentecostalPastor.com from a passionate desire to serve pastors in ministry with their churches and perhaps just as importantly, to elevate them in their communities. The calling to a pastoral office is a great privilege and tremendous opportunity. My prayer and continual, joyful undertaking with PentecostalPastor.com is that in some significant way we can contribute to Paul’s confidence that through the work of the Holy Spirit “the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
'Til Christ Returns,
Craig R. Dumont
Creator & Publisher