I am so thankful that I had the privilege of an excellent college and seminary education. I cannot imagine serving the Lord and His church as a pastor without such training.
Facility in the original languages (Hebrew and Greek), a knowledge of the content of Scripture, understanding the flow of church history, indoctrination in the primacy of the local church, the necessity and correctness of the militant separatist position, and a correlated understanding of the Bible’s truths (systematic theology) from a presuppositionalist and traditional dispensational viewpoint have been invaluable to me.
And yet, such does not make one a faithful, effective pastor. Something else is needed.
Cornelius Stam (1908-2003) and I definitely would not be on the same page in some matters of dispensationalism and ecclesiology, but this article today was excellent–
The humblest pastor, one who has had little opportunity for formal training and may have few natural endowments, may take heart in the knowledge that ultimately the key to true effectiveness in the pastorate is spirituality. And the greatest pastor, well educated and liberally endowed with natural talents, had better remember this, for a large and “successful” ministry is not necessarily blessed and honored of God, while a seemingly insignificant one may be richly blessed.
Remember, the Apostle Paul referred to himself as “unknown, and yet well known,” as “poor, yet making many rich” (II Cor. 6:9,10). He could boast no great organizational backing, yet even his co-workers were called “these who have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). The truly spiritual pastor may know little about worldly matters, but he will give much time to the study of the Word of God and will be earnest and instant in prayer. He will not be self-satisfied, or high-minded, but will walk humbly, begging God every day to make him the pastor he ought to be.
The truly spiritual pastor will be “crucified unto the world” and will “flee [from] youthful lusts.” He will truly love lost souls and the congregation God has entrusted to him and will toil unremittingly for their good. He will conduct himself as a servant of God and will trust God to use him for His glory.
How can such a pastor be a total failure? The key to a truly effective pastorate, then, is not intellectual endowment, or scholastic attainment, or a well-rounded education, or a thorough training, much less wealth or fame or personal magnetism; it is spirituality, with its desire to please God and to know and obey His Word, rightly divided.