Thinking further about Terry Virgo’s quote “a pastor loves people and the teacher loves books’” I thought it could be helpfully reworded and expanded.
A Pastor loves Christians
A Teacher loves books
An Evangelist loves non-Christians
A Prophet loves God
An Apostle loves the Church
Clearly we need church leaders who do all these things. Equally clearly, each of our leaders will inevitably focus more on one of these aspects than the others. Without them all (and I definitely include the apostle in that) a church will be lopsided at best, and heretical at worst.
A church which only loves the non-Christian will soon become a rather unpleasant place to be, where you are valued only for the number of people you bring there. A church which only loves Christians will be an exclusive club and impossible to join. A church which only loves books will be more like a bible school than a community. A church which only loves God may be of little use on earth, and may at times be offensive for the sake of being offensive. A church which only loves the church itself, whilst ignoring its purpose, may become a beauracracy riven with power struggles and devoid of direction.
Thank God the bible says ‘It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.’ (Eph 4:11-16, NIV)