This week Union will be hosting the “Southern Baptists, Evangelicals and the Future of Denominationalism” conference which I have mentioned here previously. As part of that conference I will be giving a paper under the title of this post. My aim will be to argue that the oversight of souls is the heart of pastoral ministry. As part fo that argument I have been gathering quotes from pastors voer the centuries that exemplify this goal.
One great source is the letters of Samuel Rutherford (available in complete text on Google Books). Letter 225 is particularly powerful as he writes to his beloved church while he is away from them in exile in Aberdeen. Here are two excerpts from that letter:
This is the heart of a pastor.