by Doug Smith
Pastors are not trained in a vacuum. They are to serve Christ and His church, and their training should begin in the church, continue with some significant connection to the church, and should culminate in a lifetime commitment to the church.
We’ve looked at 5 models for training pastors in the church. One on one mentoring, with one pastor pouring his life into another, is the most direct and effective way. A church can provide temporary internships to one man or several men. A church can begin its own seminary. A church can partner with another church or host a like-minded ministry to train future leaders. A church can also promote a Bible college or seminary that is grounded in the truth and accountable to local churches. Pastors may benefit from receiving training from more than one of these approaches.
Both churches and pastors need to take seriously the task of training future leaders. Aspiring pastors should seek training in the context of the local church. There are rogue schools who value the academy above the church. There are schools that try to influence pastor to impose artificial, unnatural (and sometimes unbiblical) programs into church ministry. Obtaining training in conjunction with the local church will help the pastoral student see how things work in a particular context, which is sometimes different than what is envisioned in the classroom that has no reference to a real church.
May God move more churches and pastors to train the next generation. It’s too important a job to farm out to others who may not have Christ’s best interests at heart.
LINKS TO THE ENTIRE SERIES:
Training Pastors in the Local Church, Part 1 of 7: Introduction
Training Pastors in the Local Church, Part 2 of 7: One-on-One Mentoring
Training Pastors in the Local Church, Part 3 of 7: Internships
Training Pastors in the Local Church, Part 4 of 7: Church-Based Seminaries
Training Pastors in the Local Church, Part 5 of 7: Partnering with Other Churches or Ministries
Training Pastors in the Local Church, Part 6 of 7: Traditional Bible Colleges and Seminaries
Training Pastors in the Local Church, Part 7 of 7: Conclusion
If you want all the articles in one place, the Kindle book version of this series is only 99 cents. A paperback booklet is also available. I’m glad to make this content free on the blog, but if you’d like to show a little support, please consider purchasing a paperback or Kindle version (those who purchase the paperback on Amazon can get the Kindle version for free, via the Kindle matchbook program).
Amazon (paperback) (those who purchase the paperback via Amazon are eligible for the Kindle version for free)