What Does a 19th Century Presbyterian Pastor Have to Say About the Relationship Between Pastors and Their Flocks?

We have highlighted Thomas Murphy (1823-1900)'s important work on Pastoral Theology (1877) previously, but additionally, he has written separately on Duties of Church Members to the Church (1878) and People and Pastor: Duties Involved in the Important Relation (1887). Both of these works are filled with practical wisdom and eminently relevant today within the life of any congregation. For a sampling of the topics considered, here is a list of the duties of church members discussed, followed by a list of the relationship aspects between pastors and their flock. 

Duties of Church Members: 

  • To pray for the Church;
  • To attend Church;
  • To support the Church; 
  • To draw others to the Church;
  • To study the peace of the Church;
  • To guard the good name of the Church;
  • To stand by the Pastor of the Church;
  • To contribute to the benevolent objects of the Church;
  • To adopt some branch of Christian work; and
  • To help in the Sabbath-school of the Church.

Topics involved in the important relationship between Pastor and the People include: 

  • "Electing a Pastor"
  • "Love Your Own Church"
  • "Hearing and Criticising the Sermon"
  • "Receiving the Pastor's Visits"
  • "Bearing Evil Reports to the Pastor"
  • "Guarding the Pastor's TIme"
  • "Working With the Pastor"
  • "Aiding the Pastor by Attending Church"
  • "Drawing Non-Attendants to Church"
  • "Minor Duties"
  • "Spoiling a Pastor"
  • "Guarding the Pastor's Good Name"
  • "Pastor's Salary" 
  • "Prayer for the Pastor"

    From an experienced 19th century Presbyterian pastor, there are many practical lessons here that are worth considering today. Consider downloading these books for further study.