Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gifting or Office?

The following brief exchange is in response to my pastoral letter which may be found under President at www.cmacan.org The letter concerns the authority of a pastor over the teaching of the Word in the church. Sharon's concern is that I have stated that, with all proper disclaimers in place, the word is the word of the Lord. She asks if this is actually a reference to the prophetic gift.

I don't usually respond... but this time I couldn't help it. I was wondering where the gifts of prophet,apostle and evangelist fit in with this ministry of pastor. I think in a practical sense that we combine these roles and gifts -- pastor/evangelist or pastor/prophet. But I don't know anymore if this is really the right understanding or the best way. In the last couple of paragraphs of your letter I think you have combined the gifts of pastor and prophet. I would like to argue for more separation -- we need the prophet in our churches, in our denomination. But I don't necessarily agree that the pastor IS the prophet. I would love to see this conversation continued on your blog and see what others are thinking. Sharon

OK, I’ll move it over to the blog. But briefly what we have here is a distinction between office and gift. So, a pastor may not have the gift of prophet etc. but he is in charge of the teaching in his church by reason of office. And, no matter what, when he preaches he should expect the anointing for that moment. Now, what about pastors who have no giftedness in either prophecy or teaching? One really has to ask if they should be in the position of teaching every week, i.e., should they be the lead pastor? I don’t think so. With Sincerity, Franklin

1 comment:

Coutts said...

On the flip side of this question about whether someone should have the office who is not gifted for it, one also has to ask if someone who HAS the (recognized and developed) gifts of prophecy and/or teaching should be excluded from the office (and ordination) on the basis of gender.