Just for Preachers — Especially the Young

The Holy Spirit teaches us that we must give “no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed” (2 Cor. 6:3). The young pastor Timothy was exhorted by Paul the aged to give no one a reason to despise his youth. So we must take great care in word, in doctrine, and in behavior to represent our God, the gospel of his grace, and his family well. Let every gospel preacher make it his determination to bring no reproach upon the gospel we preach.

It matters not how gifted a preacher you are, or how diligently you study, if the people to whom you preach do not respect (even admire) you and the way you live, the way you conduct yourself in the ordinary affairs of your life, they will not hear what you preach. To be as plain as I possibly can, I am saying to all who are or would be gospel preachers…

  1. Pay your bills.
  2. Take care that your language is proper. — Keep things spoken to you in private private. — Make certain that you always speak well of God’s people, “that which is good to the use of edifying.
  3. Rule your household with firmness and love. — Make your children obey you.
  4. Maintain yourself, your home, your office, your car, etc. as one who represents the King of heaven.

A preacher does not need to live in the nicest house on the block, but his house ought to be the cleanest and his yard the neatest — all the time. He does not need to drive the biggest, best, or newest car; but his car ought to be the cleanest. He and his family do not need to dress in the highest fashion; but their shoes should always be shined and their clothes clean and ironed.

You may think, “Those mundane things are not important to me.” If they are not, that fact is obvious to everyone except you! God’s servants should always be conscious of the fact that we are his servants. These mundane affairs, whether they should or not, indicate to others the honor or lack of honor we place upon the work to which we have been called.

Of this I am certain — Your response to what you have just read will tell you just how highly you esteem the blessed work of the gospel ministry. My brother, hear and heed this word from our God, for the glory of Christ and the honor of the gospel. — Give “no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed.