Ministerial Ethics-Part 2
by E.L. Holley
Wise is the pastor who recognizes that his ministry is strengthened by the ministry of others. In no phase of the work of God is this truth seen any better than in the relationship between pastor and evangelist. Each complements the other and each strengthens the other.
By the same token, each can weaken or hinder the other. This can happen in the natural course of events unless both take steps to prevent it. Since the work of God and the salvation of souls are involved, diligence in this area is vital.
Full confidence must be a mutual state of mind. As pastor, you are making an initial expression of confidence when you invite an evangelist. Do not forget how fragile confidence can be. Keep it alive by communication and concern.
Let the evangelist know you have full trust in him. Then allow him to minister as God directs him. Perhaps the following is not a perfect analogy, but as you would put your child under the care of a dentist with full confidence in his skill, his work, and his ethics, so should it be with the church and the evangelist. Of course, this trust and confidence calls for a reciprocation of attitude and effort on the part of the evangelist.
Prepare for the evangelist. Be certain that his needs are met. Liberality will not only bless him but it will also be to your advantage and that of the church. Let him know that you respect his need for privacy, and follow through on that pledge. If at all possible, secure separate lodging for him. This will not cost; it will pay.
Do not burden the evangelist with pastoral problems. Certainly you should not suggest that he preach on some theme to correct a problem. Do not fetter the pulpit. Let him know there will be unsaved souls in every service. Then grant him liberty to follow God.
Should he follow a path that, in your opinion, is unacceptable, take care how you approach the matter. Rarely is a church damaged by a visiting minister’s remarks. You will have time when he is gone to clarify any areas of confusion. But even that should be done adroitly and with great care.
The key lies in using an evangelist who is not known for working on the outer edge of truth. That kind might get a crowd out for his “special” ministry, but when he is gone, you have to pick up the pieces. And sometimes doing so is not easy-if it is possible at all. So use the type of evangelist who labors in the Word and not so much in unusual theatrics.
By your doing so, in the long run your people will trust your selection of evangelists. This means much in the success of a revival meeting. The congregation is not hesitant to invite their friends and relatives. They are comfortable with the evangelist, beginning with the first service. They will support him in every way. It is this atmosphere that you are seeking. Prize it highly. Rejoice when your people compliment the evangelist’s preaching. Join in and be lavish in your expressions of praise. They are like bread cast upon the water; they will return.
The above material was taken from FORWARD, January-March, 1993. This material may be copyrighted and should be used for study and research purposes only.