you can read it all here but I want to pass on to you three paragraphs packed with punch.
Alan, Luther, and Oden are simply restating the New Testament’s central
claim about pastoral ministry. Since the preacher holds an apostolic
office, he is called to imitate the apostles, who were determined to
“devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).
pressures on this ancient discipline are enormous. One of the constant
challenges of pastoral ministry arises from the sheer vastness of need
that surrounds any pastor. As Eugene Peterson has often observed,
pastors can camouflage their vocational failures under a frenzy of
busyness—not least because church members notice busyness. A
pastor devoted to prayer and the word looks like a withdrawn pastor, a
pastor who doesn’t care much for his people, or any people for that
matter. Parishioners may be more intrigued by a preacher who can speak
in the latest slang, who quotes the hot bands, who jars them with
obscenities from the pulpit than by a man who knows God deeply.
should believe that that God knows what people need better than people
do. What builds the church is not a man who has acquired theological
information, or a man who can keep the attention of a crowd. Theological
information and rhetorical skill are important. But what a congregation
finally needs is assurance that the man who speaks to them from the
pulpit every week is capable of bringing God’s word because he is
acquainted with the Father of Jesus Christ through the filling of their