After 45 years in the ministry, serving as pastor as well as school principal, associate, music and youth, some things become quite obvious. Also after traveling extensively and preaching in hundreds of churches you learn many things concerning the ministry; some good and some not so good. The Lord laid it on my heart some time ago to try to write about the pastorate and the ministry in an attempt to be a blessing and help to someone.
There are many truths about serving the Lord but one thing is quite clear. We serve the Lord through the local church. Eph. 3:21 says, "To Him be glory in the church." When the apostle Paul wrote the epistles he wrote to the local church and pastors. Eph. 1:1 Paul addressed the saints which were at Ephesus and the faithful in Christ Jesus. In Col. 1:2 again he wrote to the faithful brethren which were at Colosse. Take note of the word faithful. As way of introduction permit me to say that a prerequisite for serving in the is faithfulness. We accept the fact that the Lord is faithful and that many addressed and mentioned in the Bible were faithful but somehow have come to the conclusion that faithfulness applies to everyone except ourselves. I am sure that all reading this know of those who at one time were faithful and served the Lord but for some reason or another, be it discouragement, distress or the "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome they have moved on and many, truly most, find themselves out of church , away from the Lord and in a place they never thought they would wind up.
In the weeks ahead we will adress the precepts (what exactly does the Bible teach about the church and ministry), the priorities (what is expected of not only the passtor but each child of God), and the practices (how we ought to behave ourselves in the church of God. I Tim. 3:15.)Will some disagree? Of course. Will some explain it away by saying that is my opinion?Surely. However, if we truly understand the ministry there would not be so many forgetting what the church and Lord has done for them and jumping churches like a frog on a lily pad nor so many men, called of God, out of the ministry, ignoring that the calling is without repentance. Rom.. 11:29. May the Lord bless as we study together. This will each period be coninued as we exhaust the church, pastorate and faithful servant.