Seminaries don’t make pastors, churches do. You’ll hear someone at 9Marks say that if you hang around us long enough. In this issue of the eJournal, we try to put some flesh on this basic idea.
Mark Dever considers why the local church is uniquely equipped and commissioned to the work of raising up future pastors. Then he offers some practical advice for every pastor and church for doing this work, whether or not they have the resources for an internship program. Both seminary presidents and pastors offer their sentiments in a couple of 9Marks forums. And one of John MacArthur’s associate pastors, Nathan Busenitz, tells the story of how Grace Community Church decided to plant a seminary within the church.
Next, we asked three different churches how they formally mentor future pastors. We hope this might give our pastor readers a few ideas they can adopt, as God provides the opportunity. And our goal is the same for the last section where we feature a number of church-affiliated programs. Maybe a church will start its own program; maybe it will sponsor a student though one of the programs listed here.
This issue does not contain the longer, more theological articles that we often include (we will in the future!), but here’s the very simple point we hope you catch: God primarily calls and equips men for the pastorate as pastors faithfully shepherd and disciple their own congregations. If you don’t read anything else, catch this point in the first three paragraphs of Dever’s second interview below.