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John Calvin, in dedicating his Commentary on John (1553) to the Syndics and Council of Geneva:

Farther, as I freely acknowledge before the world that I am very far from possessing the careful diligence and the other virtues which the greatness and excellence of the office requires in a good Pastor, and as I continually bewail before God the numerous sins which obstruct my progress, so I venture to declare that I am not without an honest and sincere desire to perform my duty.

There’s a sentence most pastors feel much of the time, especially with Sunday coming. Lord, help us, we’re trying.


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4 thoughts on “A Word for Imperfect, But Persistent Pastors”

  1. Bobbie says:

    I am thankful for my pastor. He preaches the Gospel with boldness and clarity and points us to Christ. He sets before his congregation a godly example and is approachable. He is a true shepherd of the flock God has given him

  2. neville briggs says:

    It is a pity that John Calvin seems to have missed the message that Paul sent to the Galations , when Paul wrote ” Having started with the Spirit are you now ending with the flesh ? “

  3. Indeed, Neville may I also venture to say we all struggle to be a godly example. What Pastors and many other institutional church intense advocates miss it what we are really here for. Not worrying about our not so perfect selves but rather realising we are made in Gods image and are here to reflect His attributes to a struggling world going to the edge of life where people are in their personal hells, reflecting Christ. If as in the Lord’s Prayer HIs will be done on earth as it is in heaven, then sermons can stop, church meetings cease, we pursue a relationship with Christ and others and services made into celebrating Jesus and how we can bring him into people’s lives 7 days a week. Then perhaps we will start reflecting heaven on earth, …..and institutional church will grow strangely dim in the light of his glorious grace. I don’t think John Calvin understood this either. Calvin’s Geneva in the 15th century was ruled with an iron fist by the church and its laws.

  4. Obrigada por compartilhar o artigo. Seguir as Leis Deus é refletir sobre o mundo de hoje em que vivemos.

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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