Monday, September 15, 2008

Pastor’s Office or Study?

Before the 1950’s, the room where a preacher did his work at the church was usually called the study. At that time, many began to take the business model and call this room, the pastor’s office. This included a shift in the perception of the pastor from shepherd of the flock to corporate CEO. I feel that this is a trend that has to change! At least for me, I feel that the more appropriate term for the room I use is the pastor’s study. It is here that I do the majority of my sermon and lesson preparation. It is here that I also do the majority of my reading. It is an oasis for study, not a nerve center for church operations. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the pastor (especially in today’s society) has to do some work as the CEO—but especially for us Presbyterians, the actual CEO’s are the members of session! For example, while I may maintain the Master Calendar, it is the session that determines what groups will ultimately use the building.

Why do I write this? Because I feel that it is high time we pastors reclaimed the pastor’s study! While planning and preparation for events, Sunday School, VBS, and the like are important (and something we must do) genuine study is what I feel is what is most important for us to remain true to our call. If we fail to put the time into study, our sermons will become weak and ineffective. Our teaching will become stale. Our ministry will become stagnant. True study, of the Scriptures and of other works to aid us in our ministry is the cornerstone of effective pastoral work.

It will take time to reeducate our congregations as to the importance of study, but I believe it will be an effort well spent! Now I need to finish this post, because I need to study!

3 comments:

Rosella said...

That indeed is an interesting observation. When I was a little girl, that room was called the study and whenever you ventured in there, the pastor was usually deep in study with books piled on his desk. It gave me confidence that he indeed was well informed and I could trust what he said in the pulpit. I always looked to the men (at that time it was always men )of the session to make the decisions for the congregation and the minister was held above those things and looked to for the eludication of the scripture. Rock on Pastor Tim and good luck with your mission. It is a revival to be hoped for!!!Shalom

Tim Florence said...

What can I say, sometimes reformation means restoration! In this case a restoration of the importance of STUDY for the pastor!

Amy Florence said...

I whole-heartedly agree with this post Pastor Tim. Study on...