Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog
Acts 20:25, “And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.”
Local preachers must know their congregations. A relationship is key to having a successful ministry. A man by the name of T.D. Jakes speaks of the relationship between a man and a woman, and he relates this to the preacher and the congregation. He once said, “The art of relationships requires that a man who is very different from his woman finds common ground with her and vice versa. We are meant to balance each other by attracting people whose strengths may be our weaknesses.” The preacher has the congregation, and the congregation has the preacher. With this kind of relationship, the consequences of ruining it would be catastrophic.
Acts 20:27, “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Paul taught the whole Truth of God, A local preacher should never shrink away from teaching the entirety of God’s Word! Paul taught the whole truth no matter the consequences of his actions. We have the whole Truth, which is able to save the souls of the lost. If we leave out any part of the Truth, then we are trading our comfort for the souls of the lost. We must realize the magnitude of not proclaiming the whole Truth.
Acts 20:28, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”
This section centers on the work of elders. Paul gives two imperatives (commands) to them. First, we notice that he says to be on guard. This word (prosecho) means “to be in a state of alert, be concerned about, care for, take care.” Their “state of alert” needed to be twofold: firstly, for themselves (elders). Elders need to take care not to forget their own spiritual lives. This would logically be the first place that Satan would start. Then those under the care of the elders would scatter. When the shepherd disappears, the sheep scatter and become easy prey. If the elders are to guard the flock then it is partly their job to make sure the preacher is preaching what the scriptures teach. They can’t guard the flock if they’re feeding them poison.
A bad preacher is like a wolf. This term describes a person who deals in a pitiless manner with the congregation. Instead of building the flock up he is slowly eating away at their spiritual lives. The preacher is not completely different than the average member but they are in charge of delivering the “food,” if you will. As ministers we should make sure that we are feeding the flock only the finest foods.