– Jide Lawal
A Footnote to the Minister
An exhortation to folks who listen to the Word being preached would probably not be complete without one to those who preach. If it is important that some take heed how they hear and receive, then it is also important that some take heed how they speak and impart.
Remember we shared about the need to receive the Word with meekness, with readiness of mind and with fear and trembling. It also important that the minister teaches with meekness, teaches with a bias for those who have a ready mind, and teaches with fear and trembling.
Personally, I have noticed that congregations tend to reflect the attitude of their leadership towards the Word of God.
21 Therefore … receive with meekness the engrafted word…
2 Timothy 2
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose them; if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Where the teaching in a local assembly is not presented in meekness, church members will gradually adopt an attitude of arrogance. To borrow an expression from Paul, knowledge will puff them up. They will associate a lack of meekness in the preacher with his great knowledge, and the more they know, the more they will become proud, too.
11 …they received the word with all readiness of mind…
2 Timothy 4
1 I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be diligent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they draw to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto myths.
Some church leaders tend to adapt themselves to the congregation in the area of preaching. Where they notice that men and women are not receiving the Word with readiness of mind, they compromise and present them with other content designed to appeal to our human nature. Some even preach false doctrine because they know that’s what people want to hear!
2 Corinthians 7
15 …with fear and trembling you received him.
1 Corinthians 2
2 For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
Where the preacher himself has a casual, cavalier, careless, comatose, cold attitude to the Word, those who listen will notice, and become like that too. If those who hear the word preached are to be in fear and trembling, the one who preaches must be in fear and trembling too. I have never understood how a man could believe himself to be speaking on God’s behalf and not project a sense that he knows he is undertaking a supernatural, spiritual and sacred business.
22 But be you doers of the word…
1 Thessalonians 1
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit:
Finally, the minister must himself be a doer of the Word. He must take the lead in being an example – it must be easy for us who listen to the preacher to agree that he is merely asking us to live our lives the way he does. Where this isn’t the case, the preacher may do a fine job of preaching, but people will not respond as they should.
I am persuaded better things of you! I believe God will use us all mightily, and His Body will be blessed through our ministries.
Continue in grace!