A Journal for Church Officers
by Gregory E. Reynolds
by Wayne M. Veenstra
by Timothy D. Hopper
by Alan D. Strange
by Joel D. Fick
by Shane Lems
by Edmund Spencer (1552–99)
From the Editor. An essential aspect of pastoral care is encouragement. In 1972—a Christian for a little more than a year—I was attending The Bible Institute of New England in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. I was asked to preach at the annual meeting of the board of directors. I was scared blue since I had almost no experience in preaching and had always feared public speaking before becoming a Christian. So, I decided to help myself by preaching on encouragement from 1 Samuel 30:1–31. I reflect on this passage in Servant Thoughts: “Encouragement for Leaders: 1 Samuel 30:1–31.”
Along these lines I recently received two unsolicited articles that look at different aspects of pastoral care. The first is Wayne Veenstra’s “The Value of a Study Break for Pastors.” Until recently sabbaticals were almost unheard of in the OPC. More common was a study week that was added to the month of vacation in a pastor’s call. Veenstra helpfully discusses the value of an annual week or two devoted to study.
The second article is one I would never have thought of. So, kudos to Deacon Tim Hopper for sending me a lecture he gave to his presbytery, “Promoting Happy Pastors.” It is clearly one of a deacon’s main tasks to relieve pastors of the temporal necessities of ministry, such as caring for the poor and needy, as we see in Acts 6, leaving the pastor to his central tasks of preaching and praying. But now this article proposes a very positive form of encouragement for pastors.
Alan Strange nears the completion of his commentary on the Form of Government with chapters 28 and 29. The thoroughness and wisdom of this work should benefit generations of OPC ministers to come.
Joel Fick reviews The Pastor: His Call, Character, and Work by the Faculty and Friends of Old Princeton. Bringing the best of Princeton’s famous nineteenth-century faculty into a single volume on the nature of pastoral ministry is a notable feat. Fick notes that the theme of the importance of genuine piety in the minister pervades the volume.
Shane Lems reviews Augustine’s Theology of Preaching by Peter T. Sanlon. One of the premier preachers of the ancient church, Augustine still serves as a model for preachers today. A highly trained master of rhetoric and a powerful theologian, he always sought to be understood by his diverse congregation.
Our poem “The Ministry of Angels” by Edmund Spencer (1552–99) reminds us that there is an invisible care for the whole church provided by our Lord through the angelic host. It is taken from Book II, Canto VIII, 1–2 of Spencer’s best-known poem The Faerie Queene, an epic poem celebrating the Christian chivalry during the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. One of the greatest English poets of his age whose greatest influence was Virgil (70–19 BC), the great Roman poet of the Augustan Age.
Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds
FROM THE ARCHIVES “SABBATICALS”
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high-quality editorials, articles, and book reviews, we will endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.
Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds
Editorial address: Dr. Gregory Edward Reynolds,
827 Chestnut St.
Manchester, NH 03104-2522
Electronic mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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