Tag Archives: pastoral ministry

Whom Should You Follow?

Whom Should You Follow?

Read 1 Corinthians 1:10–17

After a two-week vacation with his family, Pastor Dave returned to the pulpit. It didn’t take long for negative reports to filter in. Some members stayed away from services because Pastor Dave was not preaching or they didn’t think his associate should perform the baptismal service during his absence.

Obviously, people have personal preferences and loyalties—there’s nothing wrong with such things—but following one person’s ministry exclusively while rejecting others can lead to divisions in the church.

What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12, 13).

We are not saved in the name of a gifted evangelist, nor baptized in the name of our favorite pastor. Although church leaders are important, we should not center our attention upon them. Rather, we should focus on the Lord.

Challenge for Today: [Next Sunday] don’t dwell on the qualifications of the speaker, open your heart to receive from God.

—Charles Earl Harrel

Pray that God would give you a deeper understanding of the Bible.

God’s Word for Today © 2010 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
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Hey, Preacher!

helping othersHey, Preacher!    

We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake (2 Corinthians 4:5).

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:1–6
Song: “Make Me a Servant”

“Hey preacher, I thought you only worked on Sundays.” I nodded my head and smiled back, wishing he knew the half of it. Gene ran the lumberyard in town. I’d come in that morning to purchase building materials for a benevolent outreach project: a widow needed repairs on her leaking roof. Not getting an answer from me, Gene teasingly pressed the issue. “So, why are you here on your week off?”

After whispering a short prayer for direction, I told Gene about today’s itinerary. “After I fix a neighbor’s roof, I will sort food at the food bank, then visit shut-ins at the retirement center. If there’s time, I’ll work on Sunday’s sermon.” Gene didn’t say much after that.

The following week, I made another trip to the lumberyard. Gene met me at the door: “Hey preacher, who are you helping today? Let me know if you need an extra hand.”

When we preach Christ by serving others, the world will take notice. Often, the best sermon is the example we set by our deeds.

Dear God, not everyone attends my church or listens when I preach Your Word. Many stand on the sidelines, watching, judging my actions. And this I welcome—for if they see me as Your servant, they might respond by opening their hearts to the Master. In the name of Jesus, amen.

“Hey, Preacher!” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2010 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

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Send Someone Else

High DesertSend Someone Else

Read Exodus 4:1 through 6:30

“I know God has called me to pastoral ministry, but I’m fairly certain He hasn’t called me to the middle of nowhere.” When asked if they would pastor a small-town church, located in the high desert plains of Nevada, most candidate ministers offered similar replies.

The church in “the middle of nowhere” had been without a pastor for almost a year. The last person to fill the pulpit was a Bible student on college break for the summer. He only stayed two months.

Moses faced a similar “invitation” when God called him to return to Egypt and free the Hebrews enslaved by Pharaoh. This ministry assignment would be difficult at best. Moses told God he was a poor speaker, and asked God to send someone else to do it (Exodus 4:10, 13). Fortunately, God’s will prevailed, and Moses packed up his traveling gear.

Laborers for the kingdom of God are sorely needed. Instead of looking at the difficulties, look at God’s almighty abilities. When God sends us on a divine mission, He provides the ways and means to accomplish the task.

Challenge for Today: The next time your pastor asks for help, consider the request with an open heart.

Quicklook: Exodus 4:10–13
—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2009 Gospel Publishing House (used by permission).

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
Visit Gospel Publishing House.