I have always enjoyed writing about practical matters that concern the Church. The four writers in this issue are men who have been laboring with their congregations for less than a year. Being the “new” preacher has its advantages and disadvantages and these men are sharing their thoughts on such concepts.
In teaching men to preach, I have gathered stacks of information that can help those in a “new work.” Here are 10 suggestions for preachers:
- Remember that you are not yet a Bible scholar even though are you are graduating from school. You have years of intensive study ahead of you on many themes until you reach a level of maturity. Be a student all of your life. Never think of your studies as finished.
- Build a large and useful library. Invest a regular part of your income into a solid reference library and make use of it continually.
- Remember that your study of Greek in school has not made you a Greek scholar. Nothing is more dangerous than one with an introduction to Greek who does not realize his limitations. Always remember that in Greek grammar there are scores of “exceptions to the rules.”
- Remember that congregations are never perfect. They are made up of fallible humans just as we are. Do not expect perfection or be too disappointed when imperfections are seen.
- You will probably begin your work with those congregations that need help the most. These small struggling churches have more than a fair share of problems. Most young preachers usually experience at least one “bad match” in their early career.
- Do not be a status seeker…i.e., a “church climber,” always looking for a bigger, more notable work. Be willing to serve God even in a small, simple church if that is where you can be more productive for Him.
- When you find a good, stable congregation and you are compatible with each other, stay with them and build together a great work for God.
- Be a servant and teacher for the entire membership of the congregation where you work. Never let a clique, large or small, dominate your time and interest.
- Always form your own opinions about the members of your new work. Do not let some “helpful” brother or sister “fill you in” on the worth of the brethren.
- You will never regret what you do not say!