The preacher in the pulpit proclaims the acts of salvation in the event of the Exodus: a whole people is redeemed out of slavery; a treacherous sea passage is negotiated miraculously; God saves his people — by grace! The pastor in the parish has the responsibility of insisting that the Exodus event continues to be a design for salvation to the person who does piecework in a factory, to the youth who pumps gasoline, to the woman in the daily negotiation with the demands of diapers and career, to the man trying to achieve poise between ambition in his profession and sensitivity to his wife and children at home. Pastoral work is a commitment to the everyday: it is an act of faith that the great truths of salvation are workable in the "ordinary universe."
Eugene H. Peterson, Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 33.
Here are two juicy quotes on the pastor's call to evangelism from John Owen's "Sermon V," delivered on September 8, 1682 at the ordination of a man to the ministry. The whole sermon is worth reading. "Christ hath not appointed his ministers to look unto themselves only; they are to be the means of calling and gathering the elect in all ages: and this they principally are to do by their ministry" (460).
"Our work is the same with the apostles'; the method directly contrary. The apostles had a work committed to them, and this was their method:— The first workcommitted to the apostles was the convincing and converting sinners to
Christ among Jews and Gentiles, —to preach the gospel, to convert infidels;—this they accounted their chief work...And then, their second work was to teach those [who were] disciples to do and observe whatever Christ commanded them, and to bring them into church order. This was their method. Now the same work is committed unto the pastors of church; but in a contrary method. The first object of our ministry is the church,—to build up and edify the church. But what then? Is the other part of the work taken away, that they should not preach to convert souls. God forbid" (460-461).
From The Works of John Owen, Volume IX (Repr., Banner of Truth Trust; 1965), 452-462.