The “RevitalizeNC” podcast is hosted by Terry Long, senior consultant for church revitalization with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Each episode includes an interview with a leading expert in the field of church revitalization to offer help, hope and encouragement to pastors and ministry leaders.

This fourth episode features Dave Kiehn, author and pastor at Park Baptist Church in Rock Hill, S.C., discussing the role of pastoral authority.

Here is an excerpt from this podcast:

Terry: “I recognize that the subject of pastoral authority, that there is a ton of different connotations that everyone listening today is going to have. So, let’s just start out with this. Dave, give us your definition of what pastoral authority is.”

Dave: “I think with pastoral authority, we have to start where it comes from. Pastoral authority is given to us by God in accordance with His Word. So, we have to say God gives authority. Authority is good, it is right, but it is also only defined by what is laid out in the Word of God. Then what you have to find out is what does this pastoral authority do? Pastoral authority is given to help pastors lead and to oversee the flock of God that the Holy Spirit has allowed them to be an overseer of.”

“Pastoral authority is not dictating, it’s not telling their people all what they can and cannot do, but pastoral authority is really wed by the Word of God. Pastors have to teach and to exhort and to declare what God says in His Word and not go beyond that. I think a wise, healthy pastor is one who is wedding his authority to the Word of God in his local context of his local congregation.”

Terry: “Dave, give me a few key Scriptures that you really rely on and look to in this area of pastoral authority and how they really guide you in what this topic is.”

Dave: “For me one of my pastoral verses, and not just in regard to authority, but all of my pastoral ministry is Acts 20:28. “Pay careful attention to yourself and to the flock of God that the Holy Spirit has made you overseers of which has been purchased through the blood of Christ.” I think that when we think about pastoral authority, the first thing that we have to do is we have to make sure that our own heart’s right before the Lord.”

New episodes will be released every other month. For more information and details on how to subscribe, click here.

Happy New Year! I know that those are welcome words for many of us, myself included. Given the events of the past year, we are all ready to return to some semblance of normal, although normal will undoubtedly look different than it has in the past. Most people say they are tired and weary about how much of life has been altered since March of 2020. I resonate with Paul’s writing in Philippians 3:13, “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to those things that are ahead….” 
When we consider all the unwanted changes that congregations have had to accept this past year, it becomes obvious why disagreements between fellow church members and church leaders about how we function as a church family can become contentious. 

Excerpt from this podcast:

Have you stopped to realize who in the church is expected to maintain peace, keep everyone happy and convince the membership to cooperate together in carrying out the mission of the church? Who is the person that is caught in the middle and placed in a no-win predicament because everyone cannot have what they want? That individual is the pastor.

Early last fall, Thom Rainer published an article on his Church Answers website titled, “Six Reasons Your Pastor is About to Quit.” 
According to Rainer, some of those reasons include general weariness and fatigue from the ongoing impact and effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives and ministries. Pastors are discouraged about the degree of discord, division and disagreement within the congregations about how best to navigate the pandemic and its aftermath, as well as other issues of our day. Pastors are also discouraged by an increased amount of criticism that they receive, either directly or indirectly.

Editor’s Note: Josh Reed serves as a senior consultant for Adult Evangelism and Discipleship and Georgie Robinson serves as associate professor of missions and evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.