Good Advice for Pastors from Doug Wilson

I love gleaning wisdom from ministers more seasoned and wiser than I; so whenever one offers a checklist of what makes a minister effective, I listen up. Doug Wilson offers 10 things I think are worth repeating here:

1. You are a minister of Christ, for the people. You are not a minister of the people, for Christ. Always preach Jesus.

2. Acknowledge your sins to God, and do what He says to do about them.

3. Your principal credentials for ministry are maintained, or not, within your marriage and family.

4. Your family is a community within the larger community of your ministry. But this community of family still needs to be a gated community.

5. Your toolbox is the Bible, always the Bible. It is the only book you have that is infallible and absolute.

6. If this makes you neglect other books, it is proof that you are neglecting the one book you pretend to have.

7. You are to preach, teach, lead, admonish, and encourage with authority. Don’t do it like a muttering scribe.

8. Surround yourself with men who respect you, not men who cater to you.

9. Attack sin from the pulpit. Proclaim grace from the pulpit. You have a high vocation that should require some level of courage. Thunder the Word.

10. In the fulfillment of the Great Commission, never forget the big picture. The point is the success of the army, and your church is simply a platoon. You should want a successful platoon, of course, but only to the extent that it advances the larger mission. And always remember that Jesus is the supreme commander.

I love how Wilson states in point 7 that we ought not speak as a “muttering scribe”. Point 8 is incredibly important. I would say that one must surround himself with folks that respect and are respected. These are the people you open up with and glean from. What a blessed fraternity God grants to many and I am grateful to have some saints in my life that emulate this relational dynamic. Point 10 is absolutely necessary to protect one from a sectarian spirit. We must have a “catholic” disposition towards others in our particular mission in our particular churches.

© 2011, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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