Pastor’s role examined in Company of Pastors luncheon

“A congregation is always more than its pastor”

July 6, 2012

Pittsburgh

The Company of Pastors, a program of the Office of Theology, Worship and Education (TWE), invited people to lunch with the Rev. David Rohrer, former teaching pastor at University Presbyterian Church (Seattle, Wash.), on Thursday afternoon (July 5) at the 220th GA.

Over the past seventeen years in Seattle, Rohrer has worked closely with candidates and pastors in transition. His address pushed pastors and congregations to think beyond themselves and point to God’s presence in the world. “The prophets did not serve themselves, but the current church… understanding that he or she is a part of the story lived out that will come to fruition down the line.”

He continued, “We aren’t serving or giving witness to ourselves.”

Rohrer, author of The Sacred Wilderness of Pastoral Ministry: Preparing a People for the Presence of the Lord (InterVarsity Press), went on to wonder about ministering in a world where brand and image are the primary signs of success. “If we focus on our image, we won’t be about the business of ministry… If the brand and image are the primary governors of our behavior, then we have our eyes in the wrong place. We will miss the presence of the one who is the source of our message.”

The Rev. Barry Ensign-George, associate in TWE, introduced the Company of Pastors as a group of ruling and teaching elders seeking to sustain their ministry through spiritual disciplines: daily prayer, Scripture reading and reflection.

Vice Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012), the Rev. Tom Trinidad, attended the luncheon and gave thanks for the Company of Pastors program. “That we can be attentive to the presence of Christ and remind one another of the larger context of our vocation, even and especially in the midst of so many voices competing for our attention, is something we can do best in that cloud of witnesses constituted by our ordination vows.”

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