Sunday, November 4, 2012

What Makes A Good Minister?

Temple Baptist Church - 11-4-2012

1 Timothy 4:1-11


A. I believe that Paul is reminding young Timothy as to just what his work is and the criteria by which it will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I preached this morning on “The Mutant Church” in order to show what the local church should be as compared to what it is becoming. Most churches today have little resemblance to the local church of Jerusalem found in Acts chapter 2.

B. Likewise the pastors or “ministers” are mutating along with the local churches. Most churches, when looking for a new pastor, make all of the wrong things priorities.

1. They are looking for a man who is suave so that he can make a right “impression” when people meet him. He is to be articulate and well-mannered so as to make a good impression. I am all for being articulate (God places no premium on ignorance) and God’s man certainly needs to have good manners.

2. They are looking for a man who will believe every word of the Bible but stand for none of it. I read this some years ago and thought it fitting for this message.

The Perfect Pastor:

1. Preaches exactly 20 minutes and follows it with an invitation in which everyone is convicted but no one is offended.
2. Works from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in every type of work from counseling to custodial service.
3. 27 years old with 30 years of preaching experience.
4. Tall and short.
5. Thin and heavy set.
6. Handsome but not overpowering.
7. One brown eye and one blue eye.
8. Hair is parted in the middle and is straight on one side and wavy on the other side, with a balding spot on top revealing his maturity.
9. Has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all his time with the older folks.
10. He smiles constantly with a straight and sober face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously at his work.
11. Invests 25 hours a week in sermon preparation, 20 hours in counseling, 10 hours in meetings, five hours in emergencies, 20 hours in visitation and evangelism, 6 hours in weddings and funerals, 30 hours in prayer and meditation, 12 hours in letter writing, and administration, and 10 hours in creative thinking.
12. Spends 5 evenings at home with his family, plus a day off, and always stops for interruptions.
13. A seminary graduate, but uses only one- and two-syllable words.
14. Makes 15 calls a day.
15. Spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched.
16. Attends all retreats, goes to all youth retreats.
17. Is always available in his office.
18. His kids are perfect.
19. His mother is rich.
20. His wife plays the piano.
21. His house is large.
22. His bank account is small.
23. His car is in the shop.
24. He is paid too much, too little, and he gives it all away.
25. He is talented, gifted, scholarly, practical, popular, compassionate, understanding, patient, level headed, dependable, loving, caring, neat, organized, cheerful, and above all, humble.

C. What makes a good minister?

1. A Good Minister Guards The Sheep – vs. 1-2

a. Against Deception. I do not want you deceived by wolves – Acts 20:30-31 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

b. Against Discouragement - I do not want you discouraged by what is happening – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

c. Against Determent - I do not want you deterred by isolation - Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

2. A Good Minister Grounds The Sheep – vs. 3-5

a. Scripturally Grounded – Your best defense against apostasy and discouragement is knowing God’s Word - 2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

b. Spiritually Stable - I want you to be able to encourage yourselves in the Lord - 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

c. Spiritually Capable - I want you to be able to tell what the Bible says - 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

3. A Good Minister Guides The Sheep – vs. 7-11

a. To Guide You Into Holiness - I want to lead you into paths of righteousness for His name sake - 2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

b. To Guide The Church Spiritually - I want to keep the house of the Lord pure - Psalms 93:5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.

c. To Guide Our Posterity - I want to leave our children a Christian heritage to follow when we are gone - Judges 2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

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