By Dennis Wiggs
Sometimes simple principles are the most effective. Consider the following simple guidelines for a productive ministry:
Keep yourself pure. Paul instructed Timothy to “Flee also youthful lusts,” (1 Tim. 2:22). Notice the word “flee.” Run from temptation. Look the other way when Satan dangles bait before your eyes. Allow your wife to meet all your needs, as Proverbs 5:18, 19 declares. Love your wife. Treat her like a queen. Devote your utmost attention to her. Spend valuable time with your mate. Never allow anyone to replace the relationship between you and your wife.
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine,” (2 Tim. 4:2). As much as possible, devote each day to the study of the Scriptures.
Don’t get sidetracked with extracurriculars, such as sports, hobbies, an extra job, etc. Be known in your community as a Bible preacher.
“Preachers get paid to pray,” one church member declared. Maybe so, but a fruitful ministry rests upon the praying preacher. Wake up praying for the congregation. Go to bed talking to the Lord. Walk down the church aisle on Saturday evenings, laying your hands on the pews where most members sit each Sunday, and calling their names before the Lord. Record names of church members, the unconverted, missionaries, preachers, and family members in your prayer journal. Daily seek the Lord’s blessings upon these.
Pay your bills. The community should recognize the man of God as one who pays what is due. That will demand careful budgeting and spending, little debt, and a conscientious effort to live on what you make. Tithe on your income, trust God, teach your family to live frugally, and pay your financial obligations when due.
Present the Gospel
Everywhere you go, witness of the marvelous grace of God. Tell sinners about the saving mercy of Jesus Christ. Win souls to Him. Center your entire ministry around evangelization.
The future financial stability of every young pastor depends upon his own planning. He must begin early to save for rainy days and invest in wise investments. Retirement seems a long way off, but age 65 will arrive before you know it, not to mention unexpected disability or death. The young preacher absolutely must plan for the inevitable. Seek financial counsel. Get a plan and stick with it.
Praise the Lord
Scripture warns us about taking credit for ourselves. When church members praise you, refer the praise to the Lord who has given you the strength and ability to accomplish the fruits of the ministry. The community, the church family, and especially your wife, do not want to hear you bragging about your accomplishments. The greatest praise will be heard when the Lord declares, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
About the Writer:Dennis Wiggs retired in 2004 after many years in ministry.
Adapted from Contact magazine, December 2000.