Pastors - Ministers

Life, Character And Ministry Of The Pastor

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

 

Introduction

There is no higher calling than the ministry: "The highest of all work is ministry in its various lines, and it should be kept before the youth that there is no work more blessed of God than that of the gospel minister." {Ev 23.1} As I was told many years ago by Pastor H. M. S. Richards, the spiritual temperature of the pastor largely determines the spiritual temperature of the church that he serves. Since the pastor sets the spiritual thermostat of his congregation it is obvious that some attention should be given to his life, character and ministry on this web site. I have accordingly developed this section to place quotes that seem helpful on the subject. Having read these quotes and shared them with others, I have them to be extremely instructive. However, there is much much more to read on the subject and I urge you to read Gospel Workers, Testimonies for Ministers and Pastoral Ministry to get the fullest treatment on the subject.

On this page links are shared that direct to quotations on various aspects of the pastor's life, character and role. All of them are profitable for your reading. Hopefully they will lead you to want to read more on these subjects. This is a work in progress.—Dan

 

An Introductory Quotation

"The true minister will do nothing that would belittle his sacred office. He will be circumspect in deportment, and wise in his course of action. He will work as Christ worked; he will do as Christ did. He will use all his powers in carrying the tidings of salvation to those who know it not. A deep hunger for the righteousness of Christ will fill his heart. Feeling his need, he will seek earnestly for the power that must come to him before he can present in simplicity, truthfulness, and humility the truth as it is in Jesus." {GW 17.2}

 

Pastor's Character

"The Lord sets before his ministers the divine standard, and instructs them that they are to be shepherds of the flock of God and ensamples of good behavior, that the ministry be not blamed, or brought down to a low, common level, and shaped according to the desires of the natural, unconverted heart. The ministers are not to carry into their sacred office their own defective spirits and faulty characters; for in all things they are to fulfill the word, and be found approving themselves “as the ministers of God.” {RH November 20, 1894, par. 2}

Learn more about the pastor's character on this page. 

 

Prayers Of The Pastor

"God’s messengers must tarry long with God if they would have success. When men consecrate themselves to God, the power which comes alone from God will bring them definite results in their work. We are to act as in the presence of God; His eye is ever upon us; His arm is guiding us. We must die to self before God can use us to His name’s glory. If we will learn of Christ as His little children, we shall make a success wherever we are."{Lt350-1907.12}

Prayer is key to spiritual success, and this is especially true for pastors. Learn more about the prayers of pastors on this page.

 

Sermon Preparation & Delivery

The following quotation is a little hard to read, but important to read: "Heaven is ashamed of many who are engaged in all branches of the work, and especially is Heaven ashamed of those who are called to the sacred desk, and yet who do not try to do their best. Many read newspapers and periodicals and books, and neglect the study of their Bibles. They do not wrestle with God in the closet, for the help which he alone can give. They go forth to their work spiritless and without Christ. Ministers go before their congregations, presenting fragments of a long-used discourse, instead of a fresh portion of meat in due season for the people. They drift into dry, controverted subjects, and the flock of God is unfed." {RH May 20, 1890, par. 9}

The quotation speaks of ministers doing their best, and often the "best" is evaluated by the pastor's sermons and their effectiveness or lack thereof, even though they are only one aspect of his sacred calling. Not every pastor is a talented wordsmith, who can sway his hearers with his powers of oratory. But does less ability mean less success? I would suggest that the powers of oratory are a poor criteria for what brings success, though we don't want to minimize the importance of carefully delivering a well-prepared sermon. So, how does one define "best" and what does that mean exactly when it comes the preparation and delivery of sermons? I fear that too much time is spent reading about how the modern world defines success instead of what God says on the subject. I accordingly wish that all pastors would spend more time reading about sermon preparation and delivery in the writings of Ellen White. If they did, there would be a depth of spirituality and a simplicity of delivery that would touch people's hearts. My students have sometimes remarked that reading some of these quotes encouraged them to believe that they could be effective pastors preaching life-changing sermons after reading what Mrs. White said on the subject. (Read what Ellen White said about sermon preparation and delivery.)

 

Praise And Flattery Of Pastors

"Our anxiety should not be to secure a minister who will please the people by smart speeches and oratory, in order to gain flattery and applause, but to secure men who are laborers together with God, men who study to show themselves approved unto God. Our intense desire should be to give, by a well-ordered life and a godly conversation, discourses solemn, earnest, and tender, with the unction of the Holy Spirit. Those who labor in this spirit are never satisfied with themselves." {Ms1a-1890.25}

This is a subject that isn't considered much but it is important. We can hurt our children when we praise and flatter them too much, the same is true for praising and flattering pastors.