Summary: Today there are all kinds of views of what a perfect pastor should be like and look like. And there is, no doubt, all sorts of advice available today on how a minister can be sure to fulfill his calling. But I think one will be hard pressed to find bett
Lessons to be Learned
Today there are all kinds of views of what a perfect pastor should be like and look like. And there is, no doubt, all sorts of advice available today on how a minister can be sure to fulfill his calling. But I think one will be hard pressed to find better advice than that given to Timothy by Paul. One would be hard pressed to find anyone better qualified to give advise on the ministry than the Apostle Paul, who was, indeed, a “minister’s minister.”
I. Paul’s Exhortation (vv. 1-5)
• As Paul indicates in verse 5, if one will give attention to the things Paul exhorts them to do, he will “discharge all the duties of his ministry.” There are six things Paul mentions in this exhortation to Timothy. He says that the minister must give attention to…
a. Preaching God’s Word (v. 2a)
i. Too few pastors give proper attention to the chief responsibility that is theirs to fulfill week in and week out.
ii. Don’t neglect this great responsibility and privledge
iii. The preacher has opportunity to influence more people at one time when he preaches on Sunday than he could possibly do through visiting in homes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
iv. So here is some advise:
1. Be real in your preaching – be yourself
2. Be responsible in your preaching – remember your responsibility to:
a. The context of Scripture
b. The congregation of the saints
c. Christ, our Savior
• Martin Luther said, “I preach as though Christ was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today, and is coming back tomorrow!”
3. Be relevant in your preaching – 3 characteristics
b. Explanation – the challenge of preaching is to take truth that is and make it truth that matters.
b. Preparation for service (v. 2b)
i. Too many preachers enjoy hearing themselves talk.
ii. We have two ears and one mouth, therefore, we should listen twice as much as we talk.
iii. Since preachers are called to talk so much, it is all the more important for us to listen and learn from others.
iv. Preparation for service does not end when one graduates from school – it is a life long commitment.
c. People-Centered Ministry (vv. 2c-4)
i. A pastor must remember that he is not in the theology business or the church administration business; but he is in the people business. Therefore, a pastor must seek to:
1. Love his people
2. Listen to his people
3. Lead his people
4. Encourage them toward maturity
5. Equip them for ministry
6. Empower them for mission
ii. And in the midst of it all, don’t forget that the most important people in the church for you to love, listen to and lead is your family.
“If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” – 1 Tim 3:5
d. Positive Mental Attitude (v. 5a)
i. It has been said that “a leader is one who keeps his head when everyone around him is losing theirs.”
ii. The pastor needs to “keep his head,” if he is to be effective for God.
iii. The key to this is an attitude of positive faith.
iv. Determine that you will always seek to believe the best about people, until they make it absolutely impossible to do otherwise.
v. Always believe the best of God, for when it come to doing what is best for you, He will never do otherwise.
e. Perseverance (v. 5b)
i. Remember, “If we displease God, it doesn’t matter who we please; and if we please God, it doesn’t matter who we displease.”
f. The priority of evangelism (v. 5c)
i. Unity in a church is achieved through a common commitment to the Lordship of Christ as expressed through obedience to the Great Commission.
ii. Some think that unity is achieved through our focusing all our attention on one another, and they especially see the pastor’s role as that of caring for the members.
1. But the pastors care for the members must always be from the standpoint of equipping and encouraging them to remain steadfast in their commitment to Christ and obedient to the Great Commission.
II. Paul’s Example (vv. 6-7)
a. We read here of a minister who was able to look back upon his life with no regrets.
b. Why? Because he had been:
i. Faithful to God’s work (v. 7a)
1. Paul had been called to help build the kingdom of God and had not allowed himself to be distracted from that call.
2. Likewise, always remember that your call is to expand the growth of God’s kingdom through your ministry.