Pastoral Theology: A Black-Church Perspective

Pastoral Theology: A Black-Church Perspective

Pastoral Theology: A Black-Church Perspective

Pastoral Theology: A Black-Church Perspective

Synopsis

A taut analysis of black liberation theology, connecting scholarship to practical congregational ministry. The chapters of this book focus on liberation and evangelism, the urban community, and black theology as well as church administration, worship, education, and self-esteem.

Excerpt

Pastoral theology is liberation theology because it is grounded in praxis. Its focus is comprehensive and specific. It deals with developing and implementing policies and programs in the church and community that convey the meaning of Christianity in practical life situations. It is the understanding of God and the world that governs the life and work of the pastor and parishioners. Being a pastor is a calling! It requires an inordinate amount of love and sacrifice because the work of the pastor is often thankless and extremely demanding. It is also a constant struggle that involves motivation, change, continuity, teaching, preaching, counseling, managing, and a host of other skills, emotions, and activities. The pastor is both admired and hated, trusted and distrusted, supported and repudiated. The pastor is both prophet and politician—balancing life and work between theory and practice. He or she must have a vision of ministry and a plan for accomplishing that vision through the people who constitute the church and community. Ideas, hopes, dreams, and plans of the pastor need to become the ideas and dreams of the people. Church people have to take part in their own Christian growth, and every pastor has stories of the greatest ideas, programs, and plans that have failed because the people did not support the dream or participate in the process of developing and implementing the vision for the church.

The pastor has to have a vicarious view of the church and ministry— placing himself or herself in the position of others as Jesus often did. Moreover, she or he needs to develop a basic approach to ministry and master the techniques of pastoral ministry with boldness. [The Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control] (2 Tim. 1:7).

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