Three Things to be Abstained by Preachers
The calling of preachers is a
noble one. As such, their actions, decisions and activities have a great
bearing on the church. While it is necessary to ensure that their positions
will not he instruments of abuse, it should not be done through a set of
stringent rules and regulations meant to restrict and control, The correct
approach would he constructive admonishment. This could be achieved with the
help and motivation of the Holy Spirit. Described below are three things which
preachers should be cautious of:
Being a hireling.
There are notably three kinds of
shepherds. The first is like thieves who are bad elements, like a pack of
bandits (Jn 10:1) only receiving wages but without doing any work. The second
is like hirelings (Jn 10:12) working only for wages. The last type is like Jesus,
sacrificing His life for the sheep (Jn 10:11). Peter and Paul are typical
examples who suffered willingly for the Lord’s sake (Phil 2:17; 3:9; Mk 10:28-30 ; 2 Pet 1:13-15).
During the apostolic times there
was a person named Diotrephes who had crazed for power (3 Jn 9-12). The two
sons of Zebedee, James and John also on one occasion requested Jesus for
positions by I (is sides of his throne in the kingdom of God (Mk 10:35-45),
Even on the eve of the crucifixion, the twelve apostles were still contending
among themselves as to who was the greatest (Lk 22:24-27). All these were
foolish acts. The leaders in the church do not represent authority. They are
called to serve. The position of the church will be at stake if her leaders are
out to greed for power. Sincere workers will be disappointed and consequently
the church will suffer great loss.
Seeking after vain glory.
In the church we should avoid
being called “Master” (Mt. 23:8-12) for the church is not the place to seek
status. The title of an elder or a deacon does not signify positions; rather a
responsibility to serve. When the Lord came to the world He was despised and
rejected (Is 53:3). Paul likewise was despised and suffered a great deal (1 Cor
4:10-13). It is an obvious fact that while a preacher is generally despised by
non-believers, he is well respected in the church. In spite of this he must not
he self-conceited (Gal 5:26; Phil 2:3) nor preach himself (2 Cor 4:5), much
less commend himself (2 Cor 10:18).
When He was ministering on earth,
the Lord Jesus, said, “I do not receive glory from men”. He also said, “How can
you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that
comes from the only God?” (Jn 5:41,44).
He said again, “He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he
who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no
falsehood” (Jn 7:18). As such, a sincere preacher
does not seek his own glory, but the glory of God.
Apart from being wary of the three
things mentioned, a preacher must also honor the Lord as head of the whole
church (Col 1: 18), enabling every part to function, that is, to mobilize the
members so that everyone performs his duty and concertedly build up the body of
Christ (Eph 4:11-16).