Pastors often find their self jockeying for positions to find the most prominent spot in the arena of public ministry. Like business leaders climbing executive ladders it is more “who you know” rather than “what you know.” The Christian realm can be sadly possessed with a “Saul” mentality of the tallest, the smartest, the most talented and even, the best looking. While this may represent the minority rather than the majority; we must not “shoot” at the “offenders” but rather we must look for the smile and approval of God.
Yet public ministry sounds like it is different in some respects than the pastor of a smaller congregation; can 30 people in the congregation warrant a public ministry? Of course, public ministry consists of a Pastor who opens the door of his home and enters into the community or enters into the pulpit – he is now on display – “an epistle known and read of all men;” so whether one or one thousand, public ministry consists of an extension of our familial ministry.
Yet, public ministry is not separated from our private but rather, an extension. What we do in private, what we are in private and how we live in private affects, influences and even widens our public ministry. The private and the public mesh together even though they are intricately apart. Public ministry continues in private.
Public ministry is best developed by personal disciplines The disciplines of fasting, prayer, meditation in the Word, exercise and memorization are not the popular kids on the block. Yet our public ministry is definitely expanded and enhanced when these disciplines become a regular part of who we are in private. No accolades, no banners, no applause just the making of a man of God in the closet of prayer. The 3M’ of meditation, musing and memorization in the Word of God will show, not only in the pulpit but in the community.
Public ministry is best championed by personal mentors Timothy with his mentor, Paul, becomes the biblical norm for the New Testament preacher. To grow I must be challenged. To learn I must study. But, to have great influence is best developed by a godly, spiritual mentor of the faith. We will grow only in the areas we know unless we have a mentor who has experienced greater pools of spirituality. A mentor should be one who can take you into the presence of God by his prayers. A mentor should be one who can take you into the Word of God by his words. A mentor should be one who can take you into the holiness of God by his actions.
Public ministry is best formed in private prayer To become the preacher you want to be you must become first, the prayer person you want to be. Private prayer propels public ministry. …they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). Listening to God speak prevents wrong decisions. When you sincerely desire the power of God in public you will know the power of God in private.
Public ministry is enriched by private infillings 24/7 sounds sacrificial but it also reeks of death. There must be a pulling away before there becomes a falling apart. Taking time with your family is essential. Dating your wife is the fragrance of public ministry. Finding a retreat setting, relaxing, reading a good book and sitting on the back porch can be the rejuvenation in this week’s Sunday message.
Public ministry is best protected by private purity He wouldn’t even raise his head. He had kissed a woman that was not his wife while working late in the church office. He admitted his secret sin and now his public ministry was stripped from him; he was deflated, completely exasperated. Public ministry can be lost with private impurities. Private secrets have become public killers. Place a moral fence around your ministry, guard your mind and live in the caution of spiritual disciplines. Keep your family close by, communicate with those you trust and fight the good fight of faith.
Comment: What would you add to increase private time values to the pastor?
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