Gary L. Shultz Jr.
Gary L. Shultz Jr. (Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from The Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary) is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Fulton,
Missouri. He teaches theology and preaching for Liberty University and
Baptist Bible Theological Seminary. He also serves as a fellow for the Center
of Pastor Theologians.
Abstract: Over the last several years a renewed call for the re-emergence of pastor theologians has occurred within Evangelicalism. The distinguishing mark of the pastor-theologian is that his broader theological ministry to the church and the academy is explicitly grounded in his pastoral ministry, and his broader theological ministry strengthens and reinforces his pastoral ministry. While pastoral ministry has many facets, its foundation is the ministry of the Word, and the heart of the ministry of the word is preaching. Therefore, preaching the Word should be the priority and aim of the pastor-theologian, not only in his pastoral ministry, but in his broader theological ministry. This article will establish this truth by demonstrating how preaching is the theological act that grounds all other aspects of pastoral ministry even as it is grounded itself by that ministry. It will then explore how that truth should impact the pastor-theologian’s broader theological ministry, leading it to be biblical, confessional, and culturally relevant, even when directed towards the academy. Preaching is the connecting center of the pastor-theologian’s ministry, resulting in effective pastoring and ecclesial theology that not only reinforce one other but together preach the good news of the gospel to the world.
Key Words: pastor-theologian, preaching, pastoral ministry, ministry of the Word, academic theology, ecclesial theology