Pastors: if you’re offered a radio show, a book deal, constant conference invitations to speak, etc. please consider limiting your travel plans and their exposure in your life. Not amputation… but limitation. Being a faithful shepherd of God’s people is more important and rewarding (1 Peter 5:1-4). The problem today is that many preachers want to be rock stars rather than regular servants (Acts 20:24). And the worldly allure of fame and expanding the influence of their own name under the pretense and guise of “promoting Jesus and furthering the gospel” is too hard for them to resist. But resist they must. God won’t share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11). Do we really believe that “it’s not about us… it’s all about Him?” Or are those just convenient words we say to appear to be about His business when it’s really our ventures we’re after? (cp, 2 Cor 2:17, 4:1-4)
Consider the Apostle Paul’s words to the church at Corinth: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
It’s pride beloved that drives men to honor themselves, follow selfish pursuits rather than to follow solely the Lord Jesus Christ. As William Gurnall once said, “pride is self contending with God for preeminence.” Pride is a subtle and deadly foe. The Lord knows the proud from afar, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Ministry is a call not to self-promotion but to self-sacrifice. Can pastors have influence beyond the walls of their local church? Of course. Can a minister of the gospel write a book, put out a study Bible, commentaries, have a radio program? Yes. And in my case, can a pastor record an album to God and His glory? But not at the expense of the ministry to the church. IOW, balance is key here and essential. What I’m addressing in this brief post is when pastors leave their churches for weeks or months on end to expand their own name. We need brothers to weigh carefully our time in light of God’s command of Scripture for us to preach His Word and shepherd those under our care. No man can do this on his own regardless of the size of the congregation he is priviliged to serve, So may we seek Him first, serve Him first and His people and if opportunities come to us in God’s sovereignty may it not be at the abandonment of our duty to the local church but in support of and as a complimentary furthering of the Gospel. Amen?
“Lord, help us to guard our hearts and minds from the vain pursuits wrapped in the garb and nomenclature of ministry, rather than in Christ alone. Give us the grace daily to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow You. And grant us the discernment and wisdom to keep the main things the plain things. All of life for all Your glory!”