- The role of a modern pastor
- The evolution of ecclesial community
- The role of education in faith
- The church building
- The church service
Here’s a taste from La Grou:
“According to Viola, “there is not a single verse in the NT that supports the existence of the modern day pastor. He simply did not exist in the early church.” The pastor (Greek: poimen = shepherd) found in Eph 4:11 “does not describe an office or a title.” Rather, it is a function that bore virtually no resemblance to today’s paid professional clergy.
Viola traces the evolution of our modern pastor, starting with Ignatius (35-107). Ignatius elevated one elder above all others – Xn history’s first departure from a horizontal leadership model. Ignatius called this person “the bishop.” Virtually all responsibilities that formerly belonged to a collection of elders were now exercised by a single bishop.
Ignatius believed that the church required a rigid power structure modeled after the centralized political system of Rome. Historically, this is known as “monoepiscopate” – the “monarchical episcopacy.” In this new top-down environment, “the bishop is distinguished from the elders and ranks above them.””
The graphic above is from the re-release of the book next month with George Barna joining as a co-author. This will result in the book receiving a wider readership.