Friday, August 29, 2014

Being A Faithful Pastor

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

When I think of a faithful pastor I instinctively look to the Prince of Preachers--Charles Spurgeon. He is arguably the greatest pastor-preacher since the time of Christ. He certainly is in the last 200 years. Spurgeon's "Lectures To My Students" and his "All Round Ministry" are two of the finest books written for young ministers to read, study and follow. I have read and reread these treasures over and over again.

Recently, during my time of healing, I wrote this description of a faithful minister. This is the kind of pastor I long to be. Every pastor can say like the apostle Paul, "Who is sufficient for these things?" God's servants know that, "If the Lord does not build the house, they labor in vain that build it." May every faithful pastor and every faithful church member strive to be their best for the King they serve!

God’s Faithful Minister

The faithful minister is responsible to bring his congregation into God’s presence during worship. He will direct a worship service that is Christ-centered and full of reverence. He is extremely careful that his words, dress, and demeanor do nothing to draw attention to himself. He will bathe the preparations of the service in prayer and will long for his people to know something of the manifest presence of God in worship. He does not study to be silly, trite, flippant or casual. He knows he stands between heaven and hell for those who sit under his ministry. He is aware that eternal issues are at stake. His choice of sermon topics is motivated by the glory of God alone and not by his love of praise, success, or the approval of men. He does not covet the recognition of others but only seeks the approval of God. The faithful minister is a man of God. He is not a comic, a buddy, or a cool pastor. He is a priest before the holy altar. He knows that when worship takes place on the Lord’s Day that heaven and earth are mystically joined together. He models his service in the sanctuary on the principles of throne room worship that is taking place in heaven and not on the latest fad peddled by cheap hucksters parading as experts on church growth. The faithful minister knows that when people are in the presence of God that awe and wonder fill the sanctuary. He does not care whether he is popular, successful or appreciated by the world. He longs only to be faithful to his Lord and Savior. He trembles at the thought of entering the pulpit for he knows that he will give an account to the Lord one day for every word uttered in that sacred desk. The faithful pastor would rather not be in that office of a minister if he had his way for he knows how terrible is the judgement before him. But he is compelled by the call of God, that although he feels utterly unworthy to be a preacher of God’s grace, he can say with the apostle Paul, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” The faithful minister does not hesitate to proclaim the whole counsel of God. He is not afraid to stand for every truth that God has laid out in Scripture. Therefore, the faithful minister is not an opportunist, he is not a man motivated by convenience; he is a man motivated by conviction and he does not seek the flattery of men or the praises of the religious establishment. He is willing to walk alone if necessary. He is willing to die to self and often does. He is willing to pay whatever price or suffer any misunderstandings just so long as he can exalt and magnify his Lord. The faithful minister knows he will be misunderstood, rejected, and persecuted, for so persecuted were the prophets of God that went before him. The faithful minister is a gift to the church. Many are the impostors who rush to take upon themselves the high calling of the ministry. But the faithful minister is like Isaiah of old when he says, “Woe is me, for I am undone!  Because I am a man of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5. The faithful minister walks with Jesus, and he cherishes that privilege of being called the friend of God. The faithful minister does not beg, does not grovel, and does not mimic the ways of the world. He only seeks to be conformed into the image of God’s Son. When life is done and the sun is setting on his ministry. He will look back through all of the years of battle, of loneliness, of service and spiritual warfare, and he will give God alone all the glory. And he will be the first to bow in humble adoration and say to His God, “You alone are worthy to be praised!” 

Blessed is that church that  has a faithful minister.

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