Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1.6
The Christian Ministry: Part VI, chapter II
Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
“It is indeed a ‘neglect of the gift of God that is in us,’ to trifle either in the study or in the pulpit. God will bless our endeavours – not our idleness. Our Master, and our people for our Master’s sake, have a just claim to our best time and talents, our most matured thoughts, and most careful studies. To venture upon this infinite work of God with slender furniture, proves a guilty unconcern to our high responsibility.”
Fanning into flame(2 Tim. 1.6, ESV) the gifts God has given us to serve His people is a continuous challenge. We must always be seeking to fine-tune and improve in all the different facets of pastoral ministry, above all, perhaps, in the work of preaching. We must strive to prepare every sermon as though it were meant to be our best. But for this to be the case, we need to be sure our “furniture” for preaching – the tool kit and protocols we bring to the task – is of the highest honing. It’s easy to fall into sloppy modes of sermon preparation. But sloppy preparation won’t surface “our most matured thoughts” or end up being the best use of “our time and talents.” Nor can we expect that the people we serve will be served as God intends, unless we are continually improving our skills, applying them diligently, and offering our work up to the Lord in prayer.
What is your approach to working on your preaching and teaching skills? How do you strive for improvement?
T. M. Moore
Time for a Refresher?
Our course Introduction to Biblical Theology offers a concise overview of the narrative arc of Scripture, together with a review of the tools and practices essential for sound interpretation and application of Scripture. The course includes Book I of Augustine’s classic work on hermeneutics, On Christian Doctrine, plus a series of brief videos and a workbook tracing the idea of the covenant throughout Scripture. The course is free, and you can study at your own pace and according to your own schedule. For more information, click here.
Fan into Flame
As shepherds of the Lord’s flocks, we need to make sure we’re actually doing the work God has appointed to us, especially where the Word of God is concerned. Our handbook, Fan into Flame, provides a concise overview of the shepherd’s ministry of the Word, and includes helpful self-evaluation tools, so you can discover areas of needed improvement. Order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.