Imitation As a Means for Strengthening Pastoral Perseverance
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Perseverance (Ethics)--Religious aspects--Christianity
This thesis argues for combining a biblical perspective on pastoral perseverance with the historical examples of Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon will encourage pastors to persevere in ministry. Chapter 1 frames the thesis in addressing the problem of pastors failing to persevere by focusing on the value of imitation as a means for strengthening pastoral perseverance. Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon are highlighted as examples of pastoral perseverance to contemporary pastors. Chapter 2 emphasizes three main scripture passages in addressing apostle Paul’s perspective on pastoral perseverance: 2 Corinthians 4, 1 Timothy, and 2 Timothy 4. Paul exhorts believers to press on by fixing their hope fully on God’s grace as they shepherd the flock of God. Chapter 3 focuses on Jonathan Edwards as an example of pastoral perseverance. He maintained a God-centered focus throughout his ministry, which provided the necessary anchor point during times of trial. Chapter 4 presents Charles Spurgeon as an example of pastoral perseverance. He was a pastor that consistently battled depression, sickness, and denominational decline. Spurgeon pressed on in the power of the Spirit with a strong sense of vocational calling. Chapter 5 summarizes the arguments made in the thesis and reveals the implications of imitation as a means for pastoral perseverance over the duration of a lifetime of ministry to contemporary pastors and the broader church. This chapter argues for the biblical call to imitation through five pertinent New Testament passages that trace the theme of imitation.