Pastoring by Pen

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pbpthumbOver the last couple of years a few people have said to me that they “like my blog.” My response is usually the same: “I have a blog?” Of course, they are referring to this Pastors’ Pen section of the website (or the hard copies available at the church building).

Lately, I have been producing a fairly steady stream of articles, and in this one I want to explain why I do so: Simply, it is an opportunity to do some “pastoring by pen.”

I love what God has called and equipped me to do: pastor. “Pastor” is not my title (and the sooner people stop calling me “Pastor Doug,” the sooner I will get off this very uncomfortable hobby horse!); rather, pastoring is the way that I serve my local church.

I am first and foremost blessed to be a member of the Brackenhurst Baptist Church, but I serve my fellow members as one of their pastors in the role as pastor-teacher. I am called by God to “feed, lead and give heed” to the church (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1–4). It is my privilege and (usually!) my joy to do so. I love teaching Christians the Bible and BBC loves to learn. Our congregation is hungry for the truth of God’s Word in our desire to know Christ and to love Christ and to make Christ known. I have been privileged to serve in this capacity for more than twenty years and, by God’s grace, I hope to be doing so for many more years to come.

Over the years, we have studied every verse of many books of the Bible, including, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus (!), Nehemiah, Ezra, several Minor Prophets, Matthew, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, the Revelation, and many others. But even if we end up studying every book of the Bible in its entirety, there would still be so many more issues that need to be addressed by the pastors of BBC. It is for this reason that many years ago we began what is called The Pastors’ Pen.

We used to publish this (usually monthly) as a small several page “magazine.” Its purpose was for the eldership to communicate more effectively with the congregation what was going on in the body life of BBC. But further, it provided an additional means by which we could shepherd the flock.

Though the medium has changed from paper to (primarily) digital, the desire and goal remains the same.

I appreciate the opportunity to put into print issues that I am concerned about as a Christian, and as a pastor. This is why many of my articles are with reference to current events. As Christians, we need to think through a biblical response to what is going on around us. We also need to be aware of the insidious dangers that work against our love for, our worship of, and our walk with God. And it is at this point where I am thankful for this means to help shepherd the flock. The Pastors’ Pen provides the opportunity to “pastor by pen” where I have little opportunity to do so otherwise. After all, pastors can only say so much in a sermon, even though we preach two a week. There are just so many other areas that need to be addressed, and time and opportunity is limited. So “pastoring by pen” can be the next best thing.

The Pastors’ Pen is a helpful means to extend the teaching ministry of BBC into the lives of our members, along with anyone else who cares to read them. Further it is The Pastors’ (as in plural) Pen. Not all of the elders are comfortable writing articles, but when an elder desires to “pastor by pen” then he does so. Sometimes the elders will ask me to address a certain issue in an article and I do so. And since teaching is my primary duty, and since I have far more responsibility and opportunity to write, I produce the bulk of the articles. Also, I really enjoy writing. One reason is because it gives me opportunity to clarify my thinking on an issue and this helps me to grow in my understanding of truth.

In the light of what has been said, let me encourage us as a church to read what is posted. It is written for your benefit. It is one of many ways in which the eldership attempts to shepherd the flock.

The leaders of the early church in Jerusalem understood their primary responsibility as shepherds of the flock and so they declared, “We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). “Prayer and preaching” might be a good summary. But just as “prayer” includes more than pulpit prayers, so “ministry of the word” means much more than pulpit preaching. “Ministry of the word” includes every means of proclamation and instruction. This includes discipleship, small group Bible studies, counselling, evangelising, etc. As pastors, we desire to minister God’s Word to the flock as often and as effectively as we can. The Pastors’ Pen, I trust, is another constructive means to do so. So take up and read—or log on and read—as we attempt to do some pastoring by pen.

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