John Calvin (Spiritual Leaders and Thinkers) by Thomas J. Davis

By Thomas J. Davis

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Finally, deacons oversaw the work of helping the poor. Early in Calvin’s tenure, these items—ordinances, worship service, catechism—were presented to the council for its approval. They were accepted (though not without some revision), and Establishment of a Reformed Church 45 Calvin spent the rest of his life striving to serve the ideals set forth in these documents. THE COMPANY OF PASTORS Calvin, of course, was but one man. There were several churches within the city of Geneva proper. Since it was a republic that took in a larger area than just Geneva, however, there were other churches that required pastors: Small towns and rural parishes needed ministers.

The councils approved these articles, except for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Instead, the sacred meal would be offered once per quarter (every three months) in each parish church. Thus, the path toward continuing reform in the church of Geneva appeared to be straight and clear. CONFLICT OVER REFORM Things did not, however, go smoothly. Over the course of 1537, it became apparent that getting everyone in Geneva to subscribe to the new articles for the organization of the church would be Learning to Be a Leader difficult.

He ended up having to borrow money from friends. Not much is known about Calvin’s life over that next year. He left Paris not long after the publication of his book and went back to Orléans—whether to study, work, or teach is not certain. Then, after a little more than a year, Calvin is known to have attended a meeting in his native Noyon in From Lawyer to Protestant Reformer August 1533. Two months later, he was back in Paris. The atmosphere was volatile. A THEOLOGICAL CONTROVERSY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES The theological faculty in Paris spoke out vehemently against both the reform movement of Luther and humanism.

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