Therefore, brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the coming of the Lord.
7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the coming of the Lord. Consider the farmer who waits patiently for the coming of rain in the fall and spring, looking forward to the precious fruit of the earth. 8 You also must wait patiently, strengthening your resolve, because the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Don’t complain about each other, brothers and sisters, so that you won’t be judged. Look! The judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an example of patient resolve and steadfastness.
What is the ultimate purpose of pastoral ministry? What emphases and priorities should take precedence? In the day-to-day emphasis on various pastoral roles and pragmatic concerns, what can sometimes get lost is the theological foundation for understanding pastoral ministry.
James Thompson is a New Testament scholar with a concern for relating biblical studies to practical ministry. Here he does a careful study of several of Paul's epistles in order to see what Paul's vision and purpose were for his own ministry. He finds that Paul's aim was an ethical transormation of the communities (not just individuals) with which he worked, so that they would live lives worthy of the gospel until Christ's return. Using this as a framework, Thompson offers suggestions for practical application to contemporary ministry.