A Descriptive Analysis of the Relationship between Paradigms and Duties of Pastoral Ministry
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This study examined perceptions of paradigms and duties in pastoral ministry. In particular, the imperative to preach the Word was researched to ascertain its priority among other duties. The research focused on duties (the what) of ministry over against style (the how) ultimately to determine if clarity or confusion exists. From a population of over 37,000 Southern Baptist Convention churches, more than 400 pastors (principally senior or solo pastors) were sampled. Respondents selfidentified paradigms previously taught, ideally desired, and currently used. They also rated the importance of 10 pastoral duties and other aspects of ministry via a rating scale. Data were analyzed to describe current perceptions of pastoral ministry. Though perceptions on paradigms and duties did differ, preaching was consistently rated the most prominent; actual practice, however, trailed taught expectations. Perceptions are invaluable for (1) seminaries in curriculum development, (2) seminarians in paradigm formation, (3) leaders in contextualization, and (4) churches in ministry alignment. Key words: Paradigms, pastoral ministry, pastoral duties, pastoral tasks, ministry models.