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Comparing pastoral models

In previous posts (here and here) we've considered three ways to pastor - Pharisaiscal, therapeutic or evangelical (i.e. gospel).

Let's begin to flesh out some of the differences:

The gospel preached:

The Pharasaical gospel:

Jesus gives advice from heaven

The therapeutic gospel:

Jesus comes to understand you

The evangelical gospel:

Jesus comes to redeem you

The community:

Pharasaical community:

The collusion of hypocrites looking acceptable

Therapeutic community:

The collusion of 'strugglers' accepting ugliness

Gospel community:

The fellowship of sinners in the Light (1 John 1:7)

The way of change:

Pharasaical change:

Looking good in the presence of law

Therapeutic change:

Looking troubled in the presence of understanding

Gospel change:

Looking bad in the presence of grace

0 thoughts on “Comparing pastoral models

  1. Marcus Honeysett

    Very nicely put, Glen. I like the threefold analysis very much. I like "looking bad in the presence of grace" but wonder if "being honest, authentic and looking human in the presence of grace" might be better. If more of a mouthful.

    Are churches really "communities of sinners?" I know what you mean - fellowships of imperfect people who sin. I often wonder, though, whether a weekly, repeated Anglican insistence that you cannot come to God until there is the act of public confession and absolution doesn't impose a sense of being sinners rather than saints, essentially unjustified until I have confessed every week, rather than justified. Would "communities of saints (who sin)" be better, if more of a mouthful?

    Blessings on your day

  2. Glen

    Hi Marcus,
    Sorry for no response. I've been in Belgium for the last few days - been able to post but not comment. Thanks for your thoughts. I've written quite a few things on the blog on where I think 'confession' should come in a service (especially a communion service). I definitely would prefer to open the table up by simply saying "Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them" so come. And then we can confess afterwards.

    But on that note I'm very glad to be called a sinner. And I do want to call the community that gathers around him 'sinners'. Because Jesus only comes for sinners :)

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