Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Lutheran Pastor as Teacher by P.E. Kretzmann

CTS-FW's Media Resources page is another great place to find L-TOMs. Well, maybe not books, but journal articles of the era, many of which certainly are treasures of the old Missouri Synod. Besides many other more modern periodicals, there are hundreds of articles from Concordia Theological Monthly from its inception in 1930 onward.

In the July 1941 CTM article The Lutheran Pastor as Teacher, P.E. Kretzmann lifts up the important point that teaching is of the essence of the pastoral ministry. It is a quick, 7 page read.

While some of what Kretzmann suggests are perhaps more specific to another era, much is timeless and good for pastors of today to meditate seriously upon:

-The pastor, even, or rather especially, in the pulpit, is to understand himself as a teacher of the faith.

-He particularly reminds the pastor of the importance and wisdom of planning out your preaching schedule for a year in order to insure that you cover the basics of the faith.

-A true pastor who wishes to teach his people will be engaged in and directly shaping all the teaching done in the parish.

-The faithful pastor will not just rely on printed leaflets or other materials, but know the material thoroughly and shape its presentation best for his specific situation.

-The pastor ought also to be well versed in the philosophical and political threats of the day, and able to counteract the propaganda of the media.

-Other interactions with members, visitation, registration, conversations with unbelievers, and informal encounters are all teaching opportunities.

-The shepherd of the flock should also greatly praise and direct his people to the blessings of home devotions.

"In short," as Kretzmann says, "the Lutheran pastor who is truly conscious of the scope of his calling will realize more and more that he is a teacher everywhere and always and will therefore make every effort to perfect himself more and more in the fulfilling of his great task."

Need To Get Read Level: Pastors: 6/10; Laymen: 3/10

It is a good article to help a pastor think about his teaching ministry, and perhaps to lead one to meditate more deeply upon one's role and mastery in teaching the faith. It also could be beneficial for laymen to read and apply much of this to how they should lead and teach in their own families, and how they, like their pastor, are to be lifelong learners of the Word.

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