“Pastors” in Goatland

  This quote by Scottish pastor William Still (d. 1997) is for you fellow pastors out there.  It has to do with pastoral calling as well as teaching God’s people the Word.

“It is to feed sheep on such truth [the whole counsel of God] that men are called to churches and congregations, whatever they may think they are called to do.  If you think that you are called to keep a largely worldly organisation, miscalled a church, going, with infinitesimal doses of innocuous sub-Christian drugs or stimulants, then the only help I can give you is to advise you to give up the hope of the ministry and go and be a street scavenger; a far healthier and more godly job, keeping the streets tidy, than cluttering the church with a lot of worldly claptrap in the delusion that you are doing a job for God.  The pastor is called to feed the sheep, even if they do not want to be fed.  He is certainly not to become an entertainer of goats.  Let goats entertain goats, and let them do it out in goatland.  You will certainly not turn goats into sheep by pandering to their goatishness.  Do we really believe that the Word of God, by his Spirit, changes, as well as maddens men?  If we do, to be evangelists and pastors, feeders of sheep, we must be men of the Word of God.”

This quote is found on page 23 of Still’s The Work of the Pastor.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

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5 comments on ““Pastors” in Goatland

  1. CW says:

    Excellent!

  2. Brad says:

    “You will certainly not turn goats into sheep by pandering to their goatishness.”

    Classic! The whole quotation from the book is fantastic.

    The temptation for pastors to pander to goatishness is constant. Thanks for posting this… good reminder to prize and pastorally preach the Word of God even when goatish snorting is heard amongst the flock.

  3. CW says:

    “Let goats entertain goats, and let them do it out in goatland. You will certainly not turn goats into sheep by pandering to their goatishness.”

    If I saw that quote and had to guess who wrote it, I would guess Van Til. He had a very similar style of stating some of the most profound things in very plain spoken terms.

  4. Bill says:

    I love the quote and I loved the whole book. I read it last year for the first time, and I think it will definitely become one that I try to read once a year.

  5. Love this quote and love this book.

    It should be required reading for all those in the ministry.

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