Many years ago we felt that God wanted us to work with pastors, church leaders and missionaries. To this end we not only pursued further education but started www.dakotascba.com and this one to provide information to help that group of leaders grow in Christ and their faith.
While we cannot judge these people, we are left wondering why some of them are in the ministry at all as their performance of their duties and treatment of the people in their charge is less than godly. To this end we publish this series on THE DUTIES OF A MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL BY THOMAS COKE, LL. D. (Ages Software Electronic edition) .
All the information related in that little book may not apply to each minister, church leader or missionary but we are confident that much of what is written will help those who serve God in these positions and bring them back to the correct perspective of their office and how they are to go about fulfilling their calling.
But before we get to the first discourse on the duties of a minister of the gospel, we have a few words we would like to say. First, we would like to take you to 1 Kings 2 and provide the words of King David to his son as words to govern the pastors, church leaders and missionaries as they go about their duties:
1 When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. 2 I am about to go the way of all the earth, he said. so be strong, show yourself a man, 3 and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go, (NIV)
These words are timeless and not for just Solomon’s ears. If they were they would not have been recorded in the Bible. They are wise words for all those called to a leadership position in the church. Of course, those who hear these words must make sure that they are truly know and are walking in his ways, that they are not listening to subjective opinion or their own personal ideas and that they are not letting denominational doctrines color the ways and knowledge of God.
Second, in conjunction with this series we will be posting up some excerpts from E.M. Bounds on our www.dakotascba.com as prayer is vital for church leaders and not just the dutiful prayers done at prayer meetings and gatherings of church men and so on; but prayers of a humble man who yearn to do their duty correctly and want to truly please God in their stewardship of his people.
There are probably a great many books out there on prayer and how to pray but prayer needs to come from the heart, from purity and a longing to see God win and develop as many people as possible. Prayer is not to be the abdicating of responsibility and passing the buck to God and hope that he sends a miracle instead of using humans to do his will.
Too often church leaders forget that God has chosen to use humans and they walk away from a situation that God has brought to them or they find alternative solutions than just getting involved and showing that God cares.
People will not see that God cares about them unless his people actually get involved and obey God’s instructions. Why did God choose to use humans? One, If he sent a miracle each and every time someone needs him, it is too easy to credit the wrong source and people will not be saved but go after the alternative. Two, the people receiving the miracle will see how God’s people just sit on the sidelines and did nothing bringing further disrepute to the people of God.
Those are but two of the many reasons why God chose people. The main idea is that God made it the best way to communicate his love and caring to his creation.
Third, the prayer on every pastor’s, church leader’s and missionary’s heart should be similar to the prayer that Solomon made when he was made king of Israel. We quote 1 Kings 3:
5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, Ask for whatever you want me to give you.6 Solomon answered, You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful a to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. 7 Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours. 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.
Being a church leader is not an easy duty to fulfill and great humbleness is required and the realization that one cannot perform their duties to their fullest without divine wisdom, discernment and understanding.
Church leaders cannot rely upon their own understanding cultural practices or even secular thought that may be considered wise. They need to walk with God as David spoke and bring his words to the people so that the people know what is required of them and which is the correct way to go
Christianity is a top down faith and although at times God may raise up common believers to positions of wisdom, etc., it is the leadership that usually sets the godly example. The leadership guides the people and if the leadership doesn’t get it right then few in the congregation will as well. God provided leadership and leaders for his people for a reason. They are not for ego trips or promotion s of superiority but positions to be filled by those who know how to lead God’s way and by people who listen to King David’s admonition to his son.
Good leaders make all the difference. So enjoy the following series and glean from those pages what you can and grow in knowledge of Jesus and your faith.