Tony Caffey

1. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Tony Caffey, and I am a blood-bought follower of Jesus Christ. I gave my life to the
LORD at about age 5 at a chapel service in Austin, Texas where I grew up. During college in
east Texas, I felt a call to full-time ministry which led me to seminary. After marrying the love of
my life, Sanja, I moved up to Chicago, Illinois for theological training. In 2007, the LORD
blessed Sanja and me with a son named Alastair. We live in Decatur, Illinois now and serve
Christ together in the local church. I have served as the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel
Decatur since 2008. Even though I am an OT guy, my favorite verse in the Bible is Romans 12:1-
2: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living
sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to
this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what
is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
2. Please tell us about your theological training and ministry background.
In 2000, I earned a B.B.A. in Finance at the University of Texas at Tyler. After my call to
ministry, I moved to Chicago and began theological education. I earned a Master of Divinity
degree from Moody Theological Seminary in 2005. Afterwards I earned a Th.M. and a Ph.D. in
Old Testament studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In addition to serving as Senior
Pastor of Harvest Decatur, I’ve served as an Adjunct Professor for Moody Bible Institute since
2014. I primarily teach classes in OT studies and theology.
3. What advice would you give our students?
My personal mission statement is Preach, Teach, Lead, Love, Muse. These are the tasks that
I am giving myself to until Christ returns or calls me home (whichever comes first). I think all
pastors should be giving themselves to these tasks.
1) Preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastors are preachers. They preach the gospel that
people need to hear in order to be saved (Rom 10:14). The gospel is very simply
salvation through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ (his death and resurrection).
If we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God
raised him from the dead, we shall be saved (Rom 10:9-10).
2) Teach the truths of the Scriptures. Pastors are teachers. Pastors need to be committed
to explaining the Scriptures (the sixty-six books of the Protestant canon) and the gospel
held within. Expository preaching through books of the Bible (verse-by- verse) in a
systematic and accessible way is the best way to teach these truths. Also pastors should
explain to their hearers how to be doers of the Word, not just hearers (Jas 1:22-25).
3) Lead the church. Pastors are elders. They are called to lead the church along with other
elders (Acts 14:23; 1 Tim 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9). They exercise oversight and shepherd the
congregation (1 Pet 5:1-5). They disciple people within the congregation (Matt 28:18-
20). And they do the tasks of administration, care, prayer, and leadership.
4) Love the sheep. Pastors are shepherds. And pastors need to love their sheep. A pastor
who preaches mediocre sermons will survive as a pastor if he loves God and cares for his
sheep. Sheep need the pastor to tend to them and discipline them without beating them.
Pastors need to realize that even though they are shepherds, they are also sheep. And
Christ is the Chief Shepherd of the church (1 Pet 5:4).
5) Muse and meditate upon God s truths and God s beauty in creation. Pastors are
thinkers. Pastors are readers. Pastors are musers. Pastoring requires wisdom and insight
that originates in the fear of the LORD (Prov 1:7). Pastors chew and digest big truths,
so that they can pass on their insights to the congregation. And pastors meditate on God s
goodness and God s beauty in creation so that they can illustrate truth for the
congregation and illuminate minds.