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Advice please

This is for everyone - both preachers and hearers of sermons.

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Imagine you had three minutes with a young preacher to pass on advice.  And imagine that they would take to heart what you had to say for the rest of their ministry.  What, from your perspective, would be the most important things to say?

I'd be really glad to hear your comments - a) as a young preacher and b) I'm writing something on the topic.

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0 thoughts on “Advice please

  1. Bob MacDonald

    I give lots of three and four minute advice on Sunday mornings at Sunday school. But if there was one verse that I think is important to a 'preacher' it is the one that points to the sufficiency of God to teach. 1 John 2:27 - You have no need that any man should teach you, the anointing teaches you. This applies not only to the preacher but to all individually that he or she preaches to.

  2. flyawaynet

    I'm a hearer, not a preacher. But if I were to suggest anything to a preacher, it would be to remember that while churches are sometimes filled with sinners, when Paul preached to the churches, he preached a deeper walk, and growing in the Spirit.
    Lots of people need milk.
    Lots more aren't growing because they're ready for some meat, and aren't getting it.

    (Granted, we should be feeding ourselves at home too.)

  3. Paul Huxley

    As an even younger preacher, the most helpful thing I've heard so far was a remark from John Benton that he heard when he was young.

    You're not called to be original, you're called to be faithful.

    For people like me who always want to find something new, it's a good word.

  4. timothycairns

    The best thing I have heard is from Darrell Johnson who was really struggling with the need to "look good" and be thought well of, he knew it was wrong.

    He confessed his struggle to a retired pastor who said. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and be thought well of. He said to him, here is the pulpit prayer for all pastors, on the walk up to the pulpit you should pray "I want these people to think well of me, because I want to be your faithful servant, but I want them to always look past me and see your son, may the name of Jesus be lifted up in this place"

    I have tried to pray that in my heart each time I've walked up the aisle to preach

  5. codepoke

    Glen, you're a pretty amazing guy. Your sincerity is evident for anyone to see, and your heart is refreshingly focused on focusing all attention on the Master. Praise the Lord.

    20 years from now your life will be more than half over, and you're going to look back on the first half, just like I am. Looking back, I find that most of the times I felt like what I was doing was "little," it was the Spirit Who was moving me to do it. I am proud and thankful for every time I did one of those little things, and ashamed of how many times I focused on some big thing I thought was important. Usually those big things came from my imagination and ambition.

    Moses slew that Egyptian because he thought he was supposed to help his people. It was his idea, and he spent 40 years recovering from that mindset. Saul haled the Christians because he thought he was supposed to help his God. He spent 7 years recovering from that mindset.

    Don't conquer the world. Don't restore right doctrine in your generation. Don't even set your congregation on the best path. Feed MaryJane. Comfort BillyBob. Visit old Aunt Sue, and find someone who needs to do some visiting and get him to visit Aunt Sue. Love people.

    Destroy your reputation, not by admitting faults you've had, but by admitting faults you're having. Especially weakness, fear, and doubt. Not from the pulpit where it can sound grand, but wisely and judiciously to mature individual brothers who can hurt you. They're the only ones who can help you.

    As I've been doing these things (as a layman) for the last 4 years, people have finally started blossoming around me. It's scary and disappointing to be "mere," but it's wonderful to see people unfold to warmth.

    May the Lord bless.

  6. glenscriv

    This stuff is so encouraging. Really. Thanks very much.

    All such different advice, but I've read over each one many times. Am very grateful.

    Bob - I've been thinking much on 1 John 2. It's a great tonic when you think it's the preacher's job to 'stand in the breach' and be the Lord's necessary conduit!

    flyaway - I share your frustrations with milkiness. To switch metaphors, I keep going back to the saying: "Feed the sheep, don't entertain the goats"

    Paul - that's struck me too recently - see the post on Titus 1. Holding fast the teaching.

    Tim - was it Denney who said something like No preacher can simultaneously give the impression that He is a clever man and Christ a great Saviour? We're just so prone to discuss the preacher after a sermon, I think we all need to find ways to be a bit more see-through so congregations can see Christ clearer.

    Codepoke - your words should be a post of their own! The Lord is bringing me to see just these things. "Don't conquer the world" and "Destroy your reputation" is going up on the fridge! Thanks!

  7. flyawaynet

    I felt much the same as Glen about codepoke's comment. I just thought I'd post that I posted and linked to his comment myself. Thank you codepoke.

  8. Tim V-B

    Codepoke - excellent! One of the dangers of being a curate is that I am frequently playing "When I'm in charge I'll do it this way..." in my mind; it's so easy to spend time thinking about how to do things right that we forget to love the people God has placed near us. At least, that's my problem.

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