Potholes And Pitfalls For Young Preachers
- Monday, December 19, 2005
The young preacher should memorize this passage: "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves" (II Timothy 2:24, 25). Some men love a fight. However, the propensity to fight is not godly but carnal. And fighting in the flesh is weakness. So Paul reminds us that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." (II Corinthians 10:4)
Pugnacious young men may have acquired their contentious spirits by attending a preachers' conference where "hotshots" and "hotheads" led the services to the shouts and cheers of other preachers. But God's man will be strong in spirit, courageous in stand, and Christlike in his control. The power of God's Spirit needs no accompanying display of a man's youthful arrogance or brashness.
"Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father" (I Timothy 5:1). Most young preachers start their ministries by serving under an older, seasoned pastor. The Bible underscores the wisdom of such a practice. Unfortunately, the great lessons offered by the journeyman-pastor are too often overlooked by his apprentice. Worse, the younger staff member may actually be disappointed or even disaffected from his ministry calling. Frustration and anger may build (sometimes in both parties) until harsh words flow. The young man must keep before him the channel of proper appeal to the older man, intreating him as a father.
There is a proper manner in which to seek clarification, express concerns, and raise appropriate questions with one's mentoring pastor. One can hope that the pastor will keep this channel of discussion open for the young man. But, whatever the case, there is no place for disrespect, disregarding instructions, or deliberate disobedience. The young man who ignores this advice will not only lose his current ministry but many opportunities for future service.
”But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things" (I Timothy 6:9-11). Some pastors are never satisfied. They demand big salaries, top benefits, and the latest car.
They conduct themselves in the extravagant lifestyle of corporate executives. Younger pastors may begin to practice this covetous pattern of ministerial behavior. The love of money can affect the man in the pulpit just as surely as anyone in the pew. How many men have undermined their credibility with their demanding lifestyles! Deacons listen dismayed as such preachers speak of sacrifice. If God blesses financially in His timing and through His abundant provision, rejoice! But no pastor, young or old, should make extravagant demands of God's people.
Today's Christian Preacher is the magazine for those involved in ministry and those training for ministry service who live in the United States. TCP won't help you preach a better sermon or build a larger ministry. It will help you in your personal life. For more information, call 1-800-588-7744.
© Right Ideas, Inc., 2005,
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