I am now working through Thomas C. Oden’s Classical Pastoral Care Vol. 1, looking particularly at the sources cited by Oden.

Polycarp: The Character of a Pastor

The first matter raised by Oden is the character of the pastor. The first source referenced is Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippian Christians. Working with Lightfoot’s translation:

Chapter 2, he distinguishes his position from that of the Apostles:

For neither am I, nor is any other like unto me, able to follow the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul, who when he came among you taught face to face with the men of that day the word which concerneth truth carefully and surely; who also, when he was absent, wrote a letter unto you, into the which if ye look diligently, ye shall be able to be builded up unto the faith given to you

Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan and Co., 1891), 178. This evidences humility. He defines end for all Christians:

love toward God and Christ and toward our neighbour. For if any man be occupied with these, he hath fulfilled the commandment of righteousness; for he that hath love is far from all sin.

Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan and Co., 1891), 178. This provides a telos for pastoral care: building up one in love toward God and others. While this may result in happiness for the one counseled, that happiness is a byproduct. He then raises another general rule for Christian behavior, which although not directed toward pastors alone, is certainly a concern of ministry:

But the love of money is the beginning of all troubles. Knowing therefore that we brought nothing into the world neither can we carry anything out, let us arm ourselves with the armour of righteousness, and let us teach ourselves first to walk in the commandment of the Lord

Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan and Co., 1891), 178. Following references to the conduct of individuals withini the church, he turns to ministry more directly and in a close paraphrase of Paul writes:

In like manner deacons should be blameless in the presence of His righteousness, as deacons of God and Christ and not of men; not calumniators, not double-tongued, not lovers of money, temperate in all things, compassionate, diligent, walking according to the truth of the Lord who became a minister (deacon) of all.

Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan and Co., 1891), 178. Giving a reminer to abstain from sin (particularly sexual sins), he gives the instruction:

Wherefore it is right to abstain from all these things, submitting yourselves to the presbyters and deacons as to God and Christ.

Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan and Co., 1891), 179. And which point he turns to the presbyters (elders) as follows (which is the point raised by Ogden):

[General Command]

And the presbyters also must be compassionate,

merciful towards all men,

[specific acts of service]

turning back the sheep that are gone astray, visiting all the infirm,

not neglecting a widow or an orphan or a poor man:

but providing always for that which is honorable in the sight of God and of men,

[Sins to avoid]

abstaining from

[1] all anger,

[2] respect of persons,

[3] unrighteous judgment,

[4] being far from all love of money,

[5] not quick to believe anything against any man,

[6] not hasty in judgment,

[7] knowing that we all are debtors of sin.

[Forgiving. This is a sort inclusion, an echo of the first point of compassion]

If then we entreat the Lord that He would forgive us,

we also ought to forgive:

for we are before the eyes of our Lord and God, and we must all stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, and each man must give an account of himself

Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan and Co., 1891), 179. Thus, the pastor is to be compassionate and forgiving. He is to be in services to the spiritual and physical needs of the people. The sins to avoid are relational (even the love of money would like show itself in seeking to manipulate others or to be manipulated, because pastoral work does not produce money in the same way a fisherman or tanner would have made money).