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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

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Literally a shepherd; figuratively a stated minister appointed to watch over and instruct a congregation. Of the qualifications of ministers we have already made some remarks under that article; but the following, taken from the works of a spiritual and useful writer, we hope, will not be found superfluous. Jesus Christ's description of an evangelical pastor, Matthew 24:45 , includes two things, faithfulness and prudence. "If a minister be faithful, he deceives not others; and if he be prudent, he is not apt to be deceived himself. His prudence suffers not deceivers easily to impose upon him; and his faithfulness will not suffer him knowingly to impose upon his people. His prudence will enable him to discern, and his faithfulness oblige him to distribute wholesome food to his flock. But more particularly,

1. "Ministerial faithfulness includes pure and spiritual aims and intentions for God, Philippians 2:20-21 .

2. Personal sincerity, or integrity of heart, Nehemiah 9:8 . 1 Corinthians 2:12 .

3. Diligence in the discharge of duty, Matthew 25:21 . 1 Timothy 5:21 .

5. An unshaken constancy and perseverance to the end, Revelation 2:10 . But the Lord's servants must not only be faithful, but prudent, discreet, and wise. Fidelity and honesty make a good Christian; but the addition of prudence to fidelity makes a good steward. Faithfulness will fix the eye upon the right end; but it is prudence must direct to the proper means of attaining it.

The use of prudence to a minister is unspeakably great: it not only gives clearness and perspicacity to the mind, by freeing it from passions and corporeal impressions, enabling it thereby to apprehend what is best to be done, but enables it in its deliberations about the means to make choice of the most apt and proper; and directs the application of them in the fittest season, without precipitation by too much haste, or hazard by too tedious delay. 2. "Prudence will direct us to lay a good foundation of knowledge in our people's souls by catechising and instructing them in the principles of Christianity, without which we labour in vain.

2. Ministerial prudence discovers itself in the choice of such subjects as the needs of our people's souls do most require and call for.

3. It will not only direct us in the choice of our subjects, but of the language, too, in which we dress and deliver them to our people.

4. It will show us of what great use our own affections are for the moving of others; and will therefore advise us, that, if ever we expect the truths we preach should operate upon the hearts of others, we must first have them impressed on our own hearts, Philippians 3:18 .

5. It will direct us to be careful, by the strictness and gravity of our deportment, to maintain our esteem in the consciences of our people.

6. It will excite us to seek a blessing from God upon our studies and labours, as knowing all our ministerial success entirely depends thereupon." 1 Corinthians 3:7 .

See Flavel's Character of an Evangelical Pastor, in the second Volume of his Works, p. 763, fol. ed. and books under article MINISTRY.

Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Pastor'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​cbd/​p/pastor.html. 1802.
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