January 28, 2014 at 10:17 am #545
Jack Exum JrParticipant
Preaching the Gospel of Christ is just, ‘in my blood’. Over the years I have experienced so many things. Some good and some really bad. I would have to admit, the ‘really bad’ must be laid at my feet. Still, it is a curious thing that so many who had the dream of preaching and ministering, seems to be leaving this ‘high calling’ for other jobs. Feelings of bitterness and hurt pounding away at the heart. Memories of poorly run, and even explosive ‘business meetings’, manipulative and even domineering elders who had more interest in having their way, than doing what is best for the ‘flock of God’. Church politics seem to be a recurring complaint.
To balance things out, we are grateful, that not all business meetings and elder lead congregations are this way. We are grateful, and encouraged when we hear of those congregations which are thriving as God intended…
All things considered… the effect of these ‘negativities’ are felt in no small way, by congregations in which ‘poorly run’, ‘pride dominated’ leaderships exist. Strife, division are usually seen in these situations.
I take the time now to include an article from my step in ‘dad’, and close friend and encourager (Charles Hodge). (When dad passed away, Charles told me he would be my ‘step-in -dad’ now since he and dad were so close.) Hodge, as usual, gives us something to ‘think about’…
“On Moving Preachers (Quitting Members, And Chocolate Pie)”
“This season is “Fruit-basket-turnover” for preachers… members are quitting work assignments and/or moving. READ THIS ARTICLE SLOWLY AND SURELY! A regular job, a fixed assignment, a continued work responsibility! This is the crux, the key, the issue!
LOCAL CHURCH PREACHING is the most difficult job on earth! If not, why aren’t more men preaching locally? Why do so many quit? Why do others become “meeting preachers”, “promoters”, or brotherhood gad-abouts? The stern discipline of study, fresh sermons, practical classes, weekly jobs, “same old people” constitute local work. Every succeeding year is harder… you tire and members tire! Any preacher has 4-5 fantastic sermons, but 100 a year! Most preachers do their best work their first year… the downhill! The “fixed assignment”, the regular job – that’s life! That’s why life is so difficult – it is so everlasting daily! So preachers move or quit or stagnate!
FIXED ASSIGNMENTS? Regular job? This is the issue! Why won’t some members ever identify with a congregation? Why won’t members sign a “pledge card”? Why won’t members teach (“I’ll substitute some)? Why do elders, deacons, teachers quit? Why don’t more members become elders or deacons? Why don’t more deacons become elders? Why do members tire of their peculiar assignments? The issue is “fixed job”, “fixed assignments”, on and on-on-on! Persistence, perseverance, “stick-to-itive-ness”, patience, growth, maturity! It is easier to be “hot than cold”, “in and out”, “hit or miss”. DISCIPLINE! Nowhere is this more evident than in the Bus Ministry! It must be done WEEKLY! You find out what you are “made of” in a “regular job”. Others stagnate with their jobs!
Yes, all of us want to be featured speakers on brotherhood lectures! But the “nitty-gritty”, the “trenches”, “where the rubber meets the road” is in the local Church pulpit! This is where preachers “root hawg or die” with people! Preachers STAY – BUILD – GROW! Anybody can accept what another has built! If you want to preach for a big church – make yours bigger! god never said it would be easy!
The chocolate pie — (just) leave it on my desk!”
Charles B. Hodge
January 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm #556
Thank you for sharing this.
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