Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

It’s Sunday but Monday’s Coming

April 7, 2008

It’s Monday but what do you remember of Sunday’s sermon(s)? How quickly we can forget what we hear on Sunday and suddenly the word of God is no longer to our profit. In 1734 Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon on Hebrews 2:1 on the danger of hearing the word of God preached and then neglecting what we have heard. Although the whole sermon is worth reading his applicatory comments are helpful and worth considering on a Monday! Below I’ve given some heads in relation to his applications.

  1. Hearers should listen diligently and seek instruction.
  2. Seek to put what you have heard into practice at the earliest opportunity.
  3. Review what you have heard as the days pass.
  4. Meditate in particular upon those things that have made the greatest impression upon you.
  5. Pray over what you have heard.
  6. Discuss what you have heard with others.
  7. Do not fill Sunday with diversions that will detract from God’s word.

We are all swift to speak of a poor preacher but there are many of us who are poor hearers and we need to give more careful attention to ourselves.

Thoughts on ‘An All Round Ministry’

October 9, 2007

I’ve just finished reading CH Spurgeon ‘An All Round Ministry.’ Despite the fact that Spurgeon obtained almost mythical status amongst Irish Baptists because of his profound influence in shaping Irish Baptist life in the 19th century I’ve never been a great Spurgeon reader. Although I must admit I’ve always enjoyed what I’ve read. And this book was no exception. It is a collection of addresses which Spurgeon gave at the annual conference at his college. Most of them reflect the tumultuous times that he lived through as theological liberalism became rife in the latter part of the 19th century. It was  interesting how much it is a case of plus ca change. They are very encouraging addresses which reflect his own warm personality. I especially enjoyed, and was challenged by, his address on the preacher and power.

I started reading the book online and then discovered that I owned a copy that I had completely forgotten about! One part of me thought it would have been good to read these addresses earlier in ministry. But I also found these addresses were well directed to those who had endured some of the slings and arrows of ministry and so I probably profited from them more after ten years plus of ministry than if I had read them earlier.

Well worth a read. And if your pastor doesn’t own a copy buy him one- it will prove a helpful tonic.

Evaluating Ministry

September 10, 2007

Like all in Christian ministry I have that tendency to try to evaluate my work. It is in part the desire for sight rather than faith. It is also a pressure from the evangelical sub-culture to proclaim success based on numerical growth. When i think like that I am often reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians,

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.’

In similar vein CH Spurgeon offered these words to his students, ‘We are laboring for eternity, and we count not our work by each day’s advance, as men measure theirs; it is God’s work, and must be measured by His standard. Be ye well assured that, when time, and things created, and all that oppose themselves to the Lord’s truth, shall be gone, every earnest sermon preached, and every importunate prayer offered, and every form of Christian service honestly rendered, shall remain embedded in the mighty structure which God from all eternity has resolved to raise to His own honour.’

May all of us who labour for Christ’s kingdom be content with the epitaph George Whitefield wished for himself, ‘the day will declare it.’