Monday, September 15, 2008

Ideal Ministers of the Gospel

Yesterday we had the joy of celebrating the ordination of two elders at FBC. The two brothers are faithful and eager servants and will with God's help be very faithful pastors. We charged them from 1 Peter 5:1-4:
1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Yesterday was a good day of meditating on the pastor's calling and the great reward that comes to those who shepherd faithfully. Then this morning, I was challenged by this description of gospel ministers from Bishop How:
Bishop How once gave a striking description of the characteristics he believed should be found in an ideal minister of the Gospel. "Such a minister," he said, "should be a man pure, holy, and spotless in his life; a man of much prayer; in character meek, lowly, and infinitely compassionate; of tenderest love to all; full of sympathy for every pain and sorrow, and devoting his days and nights to lightening the burdens of humanity; utterly patient of insult and enmity; utterly fearless in speaking' the truth and rebuking sin; ever ready to answer every call, to go wherever bidden, in order to do good; wholly without thought of self; making himself the servant of all; patient, gentle, and untiring in dealing with the souls he would save; bearing with ignorance, wilfulness, slowness, cowardice, in those of whom he expects most; sacrificing all, even life itself, if need be, to save some. (cited in Ernest E. Ryden's English Hymnody) HT: Ref21.

The good meditations continue!

1 comment:

ajcarter said...

Bishop How's assessment would eliminate any man I know from the ministry, save the Great Shepherd himself, Jesus. Thank God He is not calling ideal men or else He would have no men to call.

Great to have you back my brother.