The Paradigm Pastor: Jesus as a Paradigm for the Pastor of Today
by Trudy Usner Pettibone
As we look at Jesus’ ministry, we can see all the elements of the pastorate: teaching, preaching, pastoral care, training, and frustration, to name a few. Jesus had devoted followers and detractors, even pastor killers, as he trained twelve men to do ministry after him. Of course, many of the terms we use metaphorically, Jesus knew literally. Jesus probably had the greatest “ministry of preparation” that ever existed. His ministry was supported, so he did not have to try to earn his subsistence as he ministered. Jesus was the ultimate example of all of his teachings, and, to the extent that no other could do, he sacrificed himself for the people he served. While Jesus was the exemplary pastor, this was, of course, not his main mission. Jesus came to reconcile all creation with its Creator, and, in the process, he provided forgiveness of sin and salvation to all those who would receive it. This is why we serve Jesus, but I believe that looking at his life through the lens of the pastorate can provide a much better understanding of this challenging and rewarding position. Many texts support each element of the pastorate that we will examine in Jesus’ life, but I have chosen to focus on a few for each one. I hope that these will give us a good look into each aspect of Jesus’ pastoral ministry.