“Paul as Pastor in Philippians: What do I do when the Staff Team Disagree?”
Plenary 2, delivered by Sarah Harris (Lecturer in New Testament at Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand).
Paul clearly had deep affection for the church at Philippi, a church he had founded, so when there was disagreement amongst his co-workers, what was he to do? The issue didn’t appear to be a matter of orthodoxy so much as orthopraxy, and yet when there is disunity there is strife in the church and this ultimately could spill onto the streets and discredit the church. An analysis of Paul’s language, theology and approach to his female colleagues gives us a practical example of how to handle internal conflict. The answer, of course, is Jesus, but his nuance of the cruciform pattern for life is both challenging and deeply humbling. See further below for audio file.
“Paul as ‘Working’ Pastor: Exposing an Open Ethical Secret.”
Plenary 4, delivered by Robert Yarbrough (Professor of New Testament at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, MO, USA)This paper highlights a key aspect of Paul’s pastoral ethos: his work ethic. He was a tradesman, not a white-collar professional. Whatever his pre-Christian social status, confession of Jesus as Messiah brought on him opprobrium, not honor or fame or financial advantage or intellectual respect. Through it all he modeled exemplary effort and industry. His example of and rationale for arduous human effort as the logical response to a gospel of free grace remains instructive for pastoral leaders today. See further below for audio file.
“Paul as Pastor in Ephesians.”
Plenary 5, delivered by Peter Orr (Lecturer in New Testament at Moore Theological College). In Ephesians 4:11, Paul articulates his understanding of the role (or part of the role) of pastors in the Christian church. This paper will explore how their roles relate to his own role of pastor. It will also seek to show that Paul’s articulation of the pastor’s role stands in contrast to many modern concepts of pastoral ministry. Paul actually sees a very important but more limited and restricted role. This paper will attempt to show that the gap between what many modern pastors do and what Paul expected of himself and other pastors, was to be fulfilled by the ministry of the congregation. Ephesians, then, stands as a corrective to an over-inflated view of pastoral ministry. See further below for audio file.