Hugh’s news & Views
WHAT MAKES A GOOD MINISTER?
People have all sorts of notions as to what constitutes a good preacher/minister. Some want him to be a good speaker who delivers rich, in-depth sermons, and takes no more than fifteen minutes to do so. Others want someone who can attract and hold the attention of young people (especially the 18-30 crowd). Some want a minister who is trained in and skilled at counseling. Others look for a good administrator and manager. Most church members would like a minister who is good at hospital and nursing home visitation. Still others want a preacher who excels at one-on-one evangelism. Many church members think the preacher ought to be a good “mixer” (warm, friendly, outgoing, never meets a stranger, turns up for every event the church has). Some want the preacher to be a cheerleader and a PR man for the congregation.
A few years ago someone facetiously wrote that after decades of searching the perfect preacher had been found. He is just exactly what every congregation wants. Here is the fascinating description of him.
He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down. He condemns sin, but never hurts anyone’s feelings. He works from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in every type of work from preaching to custodial service. He makes $400 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books regularly, has a nice family, drives a good car, and gives $60 a week to the church. He also stands ready to contribute to every good cause that comes along.
He is 26 years old and has been preaching for 30 years. He is short and tall, slender and heavy set, handsome, but not overly so. He has one brown eye and one blue eye; his hair is parted down the middle, left side dark and straight, right side brown and wavy.
He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all his time with the older folks.
He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work.
He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched, and is never out of his office.
Now, shall we get real about what makes a good minister? The apostle Paul wrote to the young preacher Timothy: “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed” (I Timothy 4:6). Did we hear what Paul said? “If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ…” What were the things in which Timothy needed to instruct the brethren? Look at the preceding five verses (I Timothy 4:1-5). Among other things, a good preacher warns his hearers about spiritual dangers, about the fact that “some will depart from the faith” and fall prey to “deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” How important is this with reference to your expectations of a preacher?
Writing in a similar vein near the end of the New Testament, the apostle Peter declared, “Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent (his physical body, hf), to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me. Moreover I will endeavor that you always may be able to have a reminder of these things after my decease” (II Peter. 1:12-15).
It is not always something new that we need to hear. Often we need to be reminded of the old, bedrock, foundation facts and primary principles of the gospel. Those who get away from such are in grave danger of forsaking them and losing their souls. A good minister of Christ reminds his hearers of those ancient truths.
Does your church have a good minister? If it does, hang on to him. A good preacher is often hard to find now days.
May 21, 2013