Equipping Saints for the Work of Ministry

May 2, 2016

Sioux Falls Seminary featured Rev. Dr. Charlie Self at its annual Hiller Lectureship on April 13, 2016.  Over 120 Christian leaders came together to hear about “Pastor 4.0,” which aimed to redefine leadership and mission for the 21st century.  Attendees, pastors or not, described Self’s presentations as “inspiring,” “powerful,” “relevant,” and “top quality.”

Dr. Self deftly laid out a history of the pastorate over two millennia.  Pastor 1.0 served as shepherd of exiles, pastor 2.0 as the administrator of sacramental grace.  Pastor 3.0 was understood as the preacher and teacher of the Word, educating and inspiring the laity.  Self taught that the new model builds on the strengths of previous models but shifts focus in a significant sense.  The next pastor, pastor 4.0, will be “the catalytic equipper of God’s people for service in their many vocations.”  This kind of pastor will develop others for mission in their respective spheres of influence.

Dr. Self offered creative descriptions of this pastor’s job: discoverer-explorer, convener, catalyst, commissioner – even Chief Listening Officer.   Finally, pastor 4.0’s success should be measured in ways that gauge the flourishing of joy, peace, and justice.  Throughout the day attendees benefited from thoughtful visual art in the background and lively exchanges of dialogue.  This Hiller Lectureship, it was joyfully noted, was a consummation of the powerful presentations from the last few years.

Ephesians 4:12 tells us that Christ has raised up church leaders “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.”  Catalytic equipping of the saints in their vocations is not new, of course, but a fresh articulation of a biblical call.  Sioux Falls Seminary desires to play its part in making sure this ancient task is played out anew in the present generation.

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