Preaching Articles

Here I sit, nestled in an ultra-hip chair at a West Tennessee Starbucks. Over a steaming cup of bold coffee, I fire questions at Andy, a 21-year-old college student who takes pride in his rugged, half-shaved face. I pick this young man's brain because he is one who is jealous for my job; he aspires to the office of senior pastor. Not a youth pastor or children's pastor or college pastor—though each of those is a high and worthy calling. Andy is one who ultimately wants to feed and lead a local church. This guy intrigues me because his breed is becoming so scarce.

A Theology and Missions major at Union University, Andy shares his innermost thoughts with me, and I find my spirit lifted by his passion for the body of Christ, his fierce commitment to preach the Word and his humble love for all types of people. Andy's got the goods. He is going to lead a great church in the future, and I feel burdened to do everything in my power to help him get there.

For the past four years, I have served as senior pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee. I'm well aware that my town is unusual. Jackson is a small city with four colleges. That's right: four. Like a football stadium, our sanctuary feels the ebb and flow of the changing seasons. These college students rush in each fall and reinforce our church with a new wave of energy and optimism.

While I have grown to love all the students in our college ministry, I must confess a bias I feel in my heart toward those who aspire to the ministry. I have carved out a special place in my life for those who jot pastor on their future vocation card. What saddens me every year is that so few of those exist.

Why is there not a great host of young people in my church praying about a life in the pulpit? Why are guys such as Andy so rare? That's a question I have pondered for the past few years. This has perplexed me. After all, what could be more thrilling and fulfilling than preaching the Word of God with power and watching the Holy Spirit carry a group of people forward? What profession could catapult a person into a more meaningful position of influence?

Surely there must be some logical reasons for the shortfall of senior pastors. After several months of highly caffeinated conversations, this is what my exploration has unearthed.

Why the Preacher Population Is Shrinking

1. A Fear of Failure

There is a growing perception among college students that the church has locked into its traditional form and remains unwilling to innovate. Yet the next generation of leaders lives with a carpe diem mindset, hoping to spend their lives in ministries that make noticeable strides. Hence, the cream of the crop flees from any ministry post where creativity and fresh thinking are squelched.

For those who do sense an unshakeable call to ministry, they often look first to healthy parachurch organizations or aggressive mission agencies. At best, the five-star future preachers are staying up late with likeminded friends and sketching out the logo for their church plant. These young preachers would rather work second jobs and write sermons in their sleep than to hold a position in a church that is out of touch with culture. Most of them don't believe they could survive in the average church, so this fear drives them to seek other options.

2. A Lack of Exposure

During the past 10 years in full-time ministry, I have discovered most young people feel disconnected from the primary pastor of their church. Many students identify heartily with their youth or college pastor, but very few teenagers sense a kindred spirit with the senior leader. While the pastor hits the hospitals and preaches the funerals, other staff or lay leaders carry on the life-on-life ministry that results in heavy-hitting impact.

As a result of this model of ministry, very few young people feel compelled to consider the office of pastor. They simply haven't seen the life and everyday rewards that come with the call. Hence, they never have asked the key questions: "Would this role in the church be a good fit for me?" "Could I be successful as a preacher?"

Twenty years ago, most churches in my tradition held annual or semi-annual revivals. When the nightly sermon came to a close, the call for public response was sure to include the commitment to full-time ministry. In that era, every church considered one of its primary goals to call out the called.

As most have observed, revivalism has run its course in most churches, and there has been no new net to catch the youth who sense the tug to the ministry. Therefore, other worthy professions attract the best and the brightest. When we throw no bait, we catch no fish.

3. A Fear of a Dysfunctional Family

Let's face it. Most college-aged men are looking for a gorgeous mate more intensely than a good major. Conversations in college ministry always find their way back to the best-looking, most eligible bachelorettes. The fear of graduating single is very real, a front burner issue.

It has been my observation that most young women are scared to death by the idea of becoming a pastor's wife. The common caricature of the sweet-hearted, VBS directing, piano playing pastor's wife makes most girls want to turn and run. The average young lady feels as if she never could fit the mold. For this reason, young men who sense a call to ministry often are afraid to make that information public.

They want what all of their friends want—to fall in love, stay in love, and raise a quiver of kids into full-blown followers of Jesus Christ. The pulpit seems to be a dangerous place for the man who wants to be fully present and fully engaged with his family. Therefore, it seems more doable to dive into a less pressurized position of ministry and avoid the pitfalls of being the preacher.

Finding Timothy

If John Maxwell is right, and "everything rises and falls on leadership," then even our healthiest churches are in big trouble without strong, capable leaders rising up through the ranks. What can we do to find the next Timothy, to raise up the next generation of preachers? While we can't eliminate all of the perceived dangers that come with the call, I do want to propose two practical ideas that could yield huge returns with time.

1. Ask God to send a young, teachable Timothy to you.

I mentioned Andy in the opening paragraph of this piece. I'm happy to report that Andy has become a valued team member in my office. He hangs out five to 10 hours a week, babysits my kids when we're in a pinch, and has his own set of keys to the church.

Andy doesn't make a dime, but he takes on every little assignment I hand to him and follows through with precision. Between services on Sunday morning (we have three), Andy is invited into my private prayer room where I rest and recharge. In those in-between moments, he is a fly on the wall while I banter with our worship pastor and tinker with the worship order.

Sometimes my mood is up; other times I feel down; sometimes I sit in silence and quiet my heart. Andy knows his boundaries and takes it all in. He walks with me at strategic times throughout the week. What would hinder you from taking on an Andy? If God brought a person such as him along, would you carve out a piece of your life for six months to a year?

2. Create a way to push young people to the front lines of ministry.

Two years ago, I preached to our college students from Luke 9:57-62. The theme of that passage is commitment. Three different would-be disciples approach Christ on His journey to Jerusalem; all three find good reason to remain uncommitted. That night I preached heartily and called for a specific response. "I'm looking for a handful of students who will commit to five hours a week in frontline ministry," I said.

From there, I outlined the concept of a semester missionary program called "FulFill," which would strategically place college students in key roles of servant leadership throughout our church. I committed myself to interview each of them personally and to work with our staff in assigning them. Even though I desired to place each student in the ministry of his or her choosing, I reserved the right to position them where the Lord led. To my surprise, this risk seemed to increase their interest.

My eyes welled up with tears that night when 60 students signed on. The following semester, each of them showed up faithfully and proved their worth. In those 15 weeks, I encouraged our staff to do more than simply shove them in a corner of service, but also to invest in their lives intentionally through lunches, emails, and text messaging. The goal for the program was reciprocal growth—the church would be blessed with an army of willing volunteers while the students were blessed with the coaching and encouragement of a staff member.

One additional layer to FulFill, which proved to be valuable, was a weekly leadership forum. I met with these 60 students every Wednesday night in a private room from 4:30 to 5:30. The sole purpose of the meeting was for me to share insider talk. I tried to be as transparent as possible about my personal life, covering topics such as communicating with my wife, what I read to my children at bedtime, what goes through my head in making major church decisions, fears and insecurities I face as a leader, how I budget my time, etc.

On one particular Wednesday, the Spirit led me to lay down my armor and discuss a very personal problem I was facing with my family. I asked them to pray for me and with me on that matter. In those vulnerable moments, a real bond was formed. I was learning how to treat these students as friends, and this called to mind what Jesus said to His budding leaders: "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends" (John 15:15). The relationship between Christ and His core leaders became increasingly personal. We would be wise to take note of that.

While the whole group seemed to benefit from the weekly leadership forum, this hour also afforded me the opportunity to seek out the Timothys—to consider how and if I could catalyze their growth or pour courage into their hearts.

The Bottom Line

More than likely, the task of preaching always will be risky and never will be the most popular of professions. It is likely the church will continue to battle a shortage of top-level leaders, as does every other organization I know. However, as we work together to raise up well-equipped, courageous pastors, we build a solid foundation for the future church.

It was D. Elton Trueblood who said, "A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he never will sit." May God grant us wisdom as we sow seeds for the next generation.

Ben Mandrell is the pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, TN. A father of four and husband to Lynley, Ben’s passion is to see the local church become the saltiest salt and the brightest light She can be. A graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ben is now working on a doctoral degree in Expository Preaching through Union University, with a special emphasis on biblical marriage and family. 

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Doug Turner

commented on Jul 2, 2014

Ben, Great article! You could add to the list the lack of opportunity to preach at "big church". We let our young preachers preach to youth, kids and old timers sunday school classes, but very few pastors allow young preachers the opportunity to share with the full body on sunday morning. The pastor who holds on too tightly to his pulpit is doing a disservice to those who aspire to one day preach.

John S. Marquis

commented on Jul 2, 2014

You missed two of the factors that also explain the ?shrinking pastor population?. 4. Would be pastors observing the sinful and abusive way elders and churches treat their pastors. It isn?t uncommon for many churches to regard the pastor as the sole employee and the leaders as the bosses applying the work ethic, or lack of, they apply in their secular businesses or jobs. Ministry is a sacrifice and most people feeling the call understand this. However abuse and mistreatment shouldn?t be common place treatment of God?s anointed. 5. The way some senior pastors define successful ministry by the numbers and offering amounts and turn ministry with the Body of Christ into a business. There are too many CEO type pastors who treat the church as if it is a business and they are the controlling CEO. They focus on the ?mega? mentality with all they do and they way they do it, treating the congregation as employees or commodities. Any hopeful to ministry who observes this kind of behaviour can become disillusioned as to what being a pastor is all about and discouraged to that kind of a calling.

David Emeigh

commented on Jul 2, 2014

Agreed....Great timely article! I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I believe most of the problem is because of what churches have become. How can anyone in a congregation grow close to the pastor when they watch him on a screen in what is now known another "campus". Really? I have often said, that if today's technology were available to Paul, we'd have have the Pauline letters of the East Campus and North Campus instead of the letters to the Romans of the Ephesians. Since when is growth in numbers more important than growth in disciples? How can a church become a body, when the goal is 1000, 2000 or even 20,000 members? Exactly whose kingdom are we building? Harsh questions I know, but one's I believe we all need to visit frequently.

David Emeigh

commented on Jul 2, 2014

Sorry for the typos...apparently their isn't a review window before posting.

Bob Gosey

commented on Jul 2, 2014

I agree with John S. Marquis. But, I also add that we are mistaken if we think that it is the church that does the calling of Pastors. Indeed it is the Holy Spirit that calls and equips pastors. I know He uses the church but we need to keep the lines clear about this. Too many times I have seen young men and women answer the call of the church and family where God has not made a call.

Jamiel Cotman

commented on Jul 2, 2014

Yea but if we take that attitude there's no need to do an article on the problem. Gods just going to have to call someone. I feel you're just throwing all the work in his lap.

Rev. Phyllis Pottorff-Albrecht, United Brethren Communi

commented on Jul 2, 2014

It was interesting that, the only time that women were mentioned in the article, was when the writer was discussing the possibilities for the minister's wife. United Brethren Community Fellowship has a history of ordaining women to serve in leadership roles, going back as far as the early days of the Reformation in Switzerland, and recorded in Martyr's Mirror - which can be found in most large public libraries or can be made available through interlibrary loan. Also, the United Brethren Community Fellowship does NOT aspire to the "mega-church" model. We keep our fellowships small and follow the example of early churches of the Reformation, whose congregations decided NOT to become involved in collecting church "properties." Perhaps one of the reasons why there is a shrinking population of young preachers is because too many church leaders are looking in all of the wrong places for a solution. -- For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. -- Galatians 3:26-29.

Bill Williams

commented on Jul 2, 2014

One of the main reasons I believe the preacher population is shrinking is the assumption (implied in articles even such as this one) that one must be a pastor, or even a "senior pastor", in order to preach. Such an assumption has no support from Scripture, and must be abandoned if we are to see the trend reversed. In the church I attend, with a current average worship attendance of about 120 including children, we began to see more preachers raised up when a new pastor arrived who did not feel compelled to monopolize every preaching opportunity, but instead began to identify others in the congregation who were gifted and called, and began to equip us to share in the preaching ministry.

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Jul 5, 2014

Dear Bill, Monopolizing the pulpit without giving opportunity for younger generation of anointed ones' to develop and grow in the Lord and in His service is wrong. But a blanket observation that there is no scripture to prove the calling of Shepherds/overseers/pastors/elders is erroneous and fraught with danger. I would like to see your observations/interpretation on Acts 2:42/I Tim 3:1-7/Titus 1:5-9/1 Peter 5:1-4/Acts 14:23.

Bill Williams

commented on Jul 8, 2014

Suresh, if you are still following this thread, I am afraid you have misunderstood what I wrote. I never wrote that there is no Scripture to prove the calling of pastors (etc.), nor do I believe that. So, rest assured, you and I are in agreement on that point. What I meant to say, in simple terms, is that there is nothing in the Bible that says one has to be a pastor in order to preach. None of the texts you presented say anything about preaching being limited to pastors only. I hope this clarification was helpful to you. Blessings to you this week!

Matt Sutman

commented on Jul 2, 2014

I've been preaching for over 25 years but have NEVER felt the call to be a pastor or leader. They are not synonymous. Also, I have many, many friends who are out of full-time ministry right now because no one will have them. Where is this shortage?

Danny Brown

commented on Jul 2, 2014

I agree with others that the Holy Spirit has to call people into ministry, which wasn't mentioned. But being personal with people of the church as this article suggests can draw people into our circle of faith and that could encourage them, bringing them closer to ministry and making it easier to hear the Spirit's call. I enjoyed this article and the suggestion that we reach out to people personally to raise up ministers. Paul said, "We lived among you for your sake." Isn't that what we are seeing here? But there is a deeper problem in our church, a lack of commitment to sacrifice our whole life for Christ, rather than taking an easier road. That's surely one of problems of the American church today--we are rich and at ease, so we don't want to enter ministry.

Mike Spencer

commented on Jul 3, 2014

A big part of this systemic problem, Ben, is the creation of mega-churches. It's hard to get up close and personal with a pastor of thousands. Not only has the mega-church movement created this kind of hall of anonymity, but it has helped close many thousands of small churches across our country. I laud what Ben is doing at Englewood. I would add this, don't overlook older men who have delayed going into ministry to raise their families. While they may not be as energetic, they have acquired wisdom that will benefit those they minister to.

Michael Allen

commented on Jul 3, 2014

Don't forget that college and seminary costs are very pricey these days. You have a young man go into debt to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars just to meet the requirements of churches to preach. Although many congregations do try to help subsidize their pastor's education, I fear it is increasingly becoming a rich man's profession. I could be wrong.

Jd Anderson

commented on Jul 8, 2014

My SBC church lost its' pastor of 26 years. I filled in for 2 years, submitted my resume, have experience and seminary. Why not take me as pastor? At 48, they said I am too old, cannot relate to the younger people who would be the future of the church. Repeat this process two more times in two more churches. It is not that I am unwilling, it is about the thinking processes of the group in charge.

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Jul 8, 2014

Dear Bill, Thanks for posting your response oozing Christian brotherly love.Thanks Brother for your wise reply.While on the subject,whoever is the "instrument" in the hands of the Lord to bring saints (meaning laity) to maturity, should not that individual be one of the those enlisted in Eph 4:11? So who has to listen to whom, by and large? Usually, the good Lord ordains His instrument with the "X" factor which no Bible college can give-Holy Spirit anointing-and uses him.Also that Servant (can be equated to a pipeline) is kept absolutely holy pure and clean (Mal 3:1-3) for the Lord's message to flow to His congregation through him. Part-timers' with God-given talent have to be identified by Full-Timers' and be encouraged by giving them opportunities to preach for their own growth and for the edification of the church but a Full-timer with no other distractions is relatively used more powerfully by the good Lord as he constantly waits upon the Lord for illumination (Psa 119:18) to nurture His flock with old and new "treasures" (Matt 13:52).Why I say this is because I have seen both the "Worlds". As a young Christian while working as a "part-timer"in Churches(I had a transferable job) my own individual growth in the Lord and my usefulness to the "body of Christ" was limited to a few sermons here and there(in terms of sermons,though financially I would give liberally for His Kingdom like all other grateful children of His), as a full-timer the situation is entirely different.Having no other distractions, I am able to contribute more as a "facilitator" in the growth of the Saints.

Bill Williams

commented on Jul 9, 2014

Forgive me, but I'm struggling to understand your response. All I said was, there is nothing in the Bible that says one has to be a pastor in order to preach. You've cited many verses, but none of them say that one has to be a pastor in order to preach. But if you can cite even one verse that says that one must be a pastor in order to preach, I will gladly acknowledge my mistake. Otherwise, my point continues to stand.

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Jul 11, 2014

Dear Bill, What I mean is simply this...while the good Lord would not forbid a a part-timer from preaching, He would get better output when it comes to "leading Saints to maturity" from His ordained,full-time Pastors (Eph 4:11-14). Also, we would be better served by not asking questions such as "where is it in the Scriptures". Now is it there in the Scriptures to "not to smoke" and "shun porn" but we are guided by the spirit behind what is written in 2 Cor 6:14-18. Similarly, we need to be guided by spirit behind Eph 4:11-12. A laity being used would be more of an exception than the norm for preaching to facilitate growth of the Saints. Talk of water flowing upwards and backwards...Read, Heb 13:17 also and get to the spirit of the Scripture.

Bill Williams

commented on Jul 11, 2014

Yes, let us go with the spirit of the Scripture. Neither Ephesians 4:11-12 nor Hebrews 13:17 say anything about "full-time" or "part-time", either explicitly or implicitly. I believe that is a distinction that you are reading into those texts. I would remind you, by the way, that Paul was a "part-time" apostle, and "the good Lord" seemed to do a well enough job of leading the saints to maturity through his part-time ministry. In fact, Paul went as far as to say that he would have rather died than to have depended on the congregations that he ministered to for financial support (1 Corinthians 9:15-18). As far as preaching in the NT, Mark 5 tells us that a healed demoniac (who was not a pastor) began to proclaim what Jesus had done for him. The Greek word translated as "proclaim" is more commonly translated in the NT as "preach." Furthermore, in Acts 8, we see that those Christians who were scattered by the persecution that broke out in Jerusalem after the stoning of Stephen "went about preaching the word." From the context it is clear that these Christians were not all pastors. So, it seems to me that the spirit of the Scriptures supports my assertion that one does not have to be a pastor in order to preach, while the spirit of Paul's ministry overall contradicts the assertion that "better output" comes from those who are in ministry "full-time." By the way, if you have been called by God to be a "full-time" pastor, then praise the Lord. Do what he has called you to do. That's no reason, however, to minimize the ministry of those in your congregation who work a "secular" job, as did Paul. I would caution you against pride. The Lord will use whomever he pleases, and he often uses those whom we least expect. Paul's ministry teaches us that, too!

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Jul 12, 2014

Dear Bill, Thanks for your response and for expressing your viewpoints. The tone and tenor of our correspondence , needless to say, at all times has to be "above board" in order that even if unbelievers' come across it, they would come to appreciate the mutual brotherly respect that is supposed to prevail in the universal Church with none being a stumbling block to the other. I would request you coolly reflect on the points being brought forth by me... I) About the growth of the Body of Christ to the state of maturity (Eph 4:11-15): The examples you have given about demoniac (Mark 5:1-20), the scattered believers (Acts 8:4) preaching is all about their raw beautiful passion translating into preaching AMONGST UNBELIEVERS (you can add the example of the Samaritan lady also-John 4:39) but NOT INSIDE THE CHURCH. Full-time Pastoral Ministry is a "different cup of tea" altogether. It involves leading the EXISTING BELIEVERS to a higher level of faith through life and lip (I Peter 5:1-4/I Tim 3:2,6-not a new convert like the demoniac or the Samaritan lady/Titus 1:9). Only a Full-timer who is living for, by, of the Ministry is better equipped to bring "out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old" (Matt13:52) needed for the edification of the Saints besides expounding to them the "whole counsel of God"(Acts20:27) while the demoniacs'/Samaritan ladies' are greatly outside of the Church to attract the unbelievers with their, I reiterate, raw, beautiful passion which would come more under the category of "testifying" than "preaching". Needless to say, Preaching involves exposition of God's Word.The demoniac/scattered believers/Samaritan lady basically shared the fundamental Gospel. II) About Paul being "Part-time" Apostle...Doesn't he himself declare that he is an Apostle(I Cor 9:1/2 Cor 12:12)without qualifying term Apostle with words such as full-time or part-time? Paul did not "insist" upon his rights to be supported though he speaks about the "rights" of men in ministry eloquently (1 Cor 9:14, Gal 6:6,I Tim 5:17). He of course did not want anyone to cast any aspersions on his ministry so he supported himself with his tent making ministry.It needs to be noted here that this did not stop him from accepting free-will offerings from BELIEVERS (Philippians 4:18).The words "Apostle Paul" roll off the tongue so naturally but BOY..."Part-time" Apostle Paul seems to be an oxymoron when we consider the fact that Paul did not even marry in order his ministry goes on smoothly without any distractions III) Difference between Paul's "Tent-making" and "Part-time" Ministry...Paul chose an income-generating activity which could be operated ON HIS TERMS without he being salaried under anyone, so much so, it could be said of him that besides preaching he ALSO made tents whereas of part-timers, the observation is just the reverse...they ALSO do preaching. The income-generating activity of "Part-timers" is not done mostly "on their own terms"...they "cannot shut shop" anytime they want to take up a Ministry activity that would come their way.IV)Conclusion...all said and done, good Lord can use anybody including part-timers' for preaching ALL for His glory.Preaching edifies the body of Christ(the congregation and the concerned preacher). Better the growth and maturity of the Preacher, more the congregation is benefited.

Bill Williams

commented on Jul 14, 2014

"The tone and tenor of our correspondence , needless to say, at all times has to be 'above board' in order that even if unbelievers' come across it, they would come to appreciate the mutual brotherly respect that is supposed to prevail in the universal Church with none being a stumbling block to the other." I agree, and I believe it has been, on both our parts. At least, I don't doubt your respect for me despite the fact that you disagree with me. I'm certain I have not caused any reason for you to doubt my respect for you despite the fact that I disagree with you. "About Paul being 'Part-time' Apostle...Doesn't he himself declare that he is an Apostle...without qualifying term Apostle with words such as full-time or part-time?" Yes, that is exactly right. And that is why I find it curious that you continue to focus on a distinction between "full-time" and "part-time." It is a distinction that is completely foreign to the Bible, and can only be found there if it is read into the text from our contemporary, 21st century context. Paul makes no distinction between those who minister full-time or part-time. He was an apostle, whether he was fully supported financially by the churches he ministered to, or whether he worked a secular job to support himself, so as not to be a burden to the churches. He was an apostle, either way. Having said that, that's not my main point. My original point remains the same: the NT does not limit preaching to pastors, whether these pastors are full-time or part time. Nothing you have written has demonstrated otherwise. Your final point, "Better the growth and maturity of the Preacher, more the congregation is benefited," I agree with, and I think you have argued THAT point quite well. But that's not the point I disagreed with. I simply disagree with your premise that full-time pastors are inherently more mature. In fact, I've been alive for almost half a century, and in that time I've known a lot of pastors. And some of the most mature Christians I've known have not been pastors. Please don't misunderstand. This is not an indictment of the pastors I've known. It's simply what you would expect, statistically, given the relatively small percentage of pastors overall in the Christian church. Anyway, I have said what I wanted to say, and my point continues to stand. I leave you with the opportunity for the last word, if you so desire. And if you do, I invite you at least to consider the following question: why is it so important to you to defend the idea that full-time pastors are inherently better preachers? May God bless you and your ministry! I wish you all the best this week!

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Jul 16, 2014

Dear Bill, Thanks for your detailed response. First things first. I reiterate, whatever we say or do, we ought not to end up being a stumbling block to a fellow brother in faith for whom Christ has shed His precious blood. Being the stumbling block, would result in causing deep spiritual harm to a fellow brother in the Lord. would also lead to chastisement from the Lord. The end result? The universal enemy?Mr Devil?would be smiling from ear to ear. So Brother Bill?what you are doing, excel at it for His glory. Whatever your present calling, as a child of God (that is your biggest qualification) always be willing to be a part of His sovereign plan for you. Having said this, I would request you to peacefully reflect on the points? being brought forth by me...Preaching is nothing but an expression of the growth of the Preacher (borne out of his God-dependance) backed by the power of God. More the Preacher ?empties? himself, more the Lord would pour His wisdom into him. From personal experience, I can testify that Full-time ministry facilitates a)More investment of one?s time on God?s Word paving the way for an individual to become a ?more accurate divider of God?s Word? (1 Tim 2:15) which is so essential for effective preaching?the one which is beyond the scope of a new, enthusiastic Christian. b)More God-dependence (I spoke of emptying oneself) which leads to more growth. Coming to Apostle Paul, I would never risk calling the one who worked harder than even all the disciples of Jesus (I Cor 15:10) as anything other than the APOSTLE Paul. Regarding financial entitlement of Full-timers?(if that was at any time our point of disagreement), the space in our dialogue space being insufficient for me to articulate my views I would request you, if inspired, to go through my article penned in Feb 2014 titled ?Free?Free? Free? available at the following URL? at your leisure. As regards my stand on ?Part-timers? becoming ?Full-timers??never rush into Full-Time Ministry till the Lord calls you. When the call does come, there would be no ambiguity about the call. The good Lord would speak to you in a language, you would understand. Till then, give your very best to the good Lord in all the Ministry responsibilities that would come your way wherever He has placed you as per His Sovereign will. Brother Bill, I am certainly praying for more and more of anointing to come upon you in the place, you are serving the Master. If prompted, you may also correspond with me at the following e-mail id? Hoping to leave you with a smile with these one-liners? (perhaps, you may have come across them already) a) In the ?Body? of Christ, there should not be as far as possible ?Bones? of contention b) More than uniformity, Jesus wants unity within the Church c) Brothers? in the Lord may not see ?Eye to Eye? but should never get into ?Eyeball to Eyeball? situation A Brother in Christ concerned always about your spiritual welfare, Suresh Manoharan

Suresh Manoharan

commented on Jul 16, 2014

Sermon Central Tech Support, Help! SOS! Mayday! (all in lighter vein), why are the words covered under inverted commas' or followed by exclamation marks appearing as those followed by question marks, when the Script contents finally appear after submission.

Frank Gant

commented on Jul 27, 2014

I think it's very funny how SermonCentral publishes one article claiming that the preacher population is shrinking, then almost immediately follows this by publishing an article that says that seminary students can't find jobs! Well, which is it? Not enough pastors or too many? How can the same organization espouse both sides to this issue? My personal experience says that there are way more pastors seeking positions than there are positions being offered.

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