“THE FLAMING MINISTRY” – A 12 LESSON GUIDE TO TRAINING YOUNG MINISTERS
BY JOHN L. WILLHOITE
The training of new ministers and the refreshment of established ones have made this study important. Millions of souls have not been reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and messengers are needed for these times. This is an exhaustive study, but is very compact. Thirty-five years of experience as pastor, evangelist, teacher, and missionary have been invested in these few pages. The Bible and ministry are a continued story. The chapters are not divided according to subjects. Several subjects may be covered in a single lesson. The rapid movement from one subject to another may be confusing to some, however, the material is to be taught in a short time with many subjects to cover. Pray over each class session and God will direct your steps.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A PENTECOSTAL MINISTER – The importance of a Pentecostal Minister cannot be stressed too highly. God chose the foolishness of preaching to save men. Since preaching assists man in finding his salvation, the minister is more important than a doctor, lawyer, secular teacher, president, or king. This spiritual calling is higher than any profession on earth. He is compared to an angel in Revelation 2:1 and is destined to reign as a king or priest. Revelation 5:10 states, “And has made us unto our God, kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
A MINISTER IS A REPRESENTATIVE OF HEAVEN – The Pentecostal Minister is a representative of Heaven on Earth. He is a heavenly ambassador representing Jesus Christ and his kingdom. God calls, prepares and commissions him to do His will. He receives authority from Heaven to carry out certain duties in behalf of deity. The Holy Ghost backs up those whom he calls to this special work .
GOD IS SEARCHING FOR A PERSON THAT HE CAN USE – A Pentecostal Minister can be male or female. God used men and women during Bible times to carry His gospel. The handicapped can also serve as God’s ambassadors. God does not limit the ministry to those who have two good legs, or who have a Bible School education, nor to those who have excellent speech. Anyone who is called into the ministry can be a blessing to the work of God and can be productive.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RECOGNIZING THE CALL TO PREACH – To fully understand the importance of recognizing the call to preach, one must realize the true value of an eternal soul. One soul is more important than the whole world. The call to preach is an awesome and wonderful calling because it involves the saving of a soul. The call to preach should never be taken lightly. If God has called, we must answer.
GOD LOOKS FOR QUALITIES AND ABILITIES – God calls a person to work for him. Man hires someone to work for him. The call to work for God is different than being hired by a company although there are some similarities. Both God and man look for certain qualities and abilities m a person’s life before he is sent out to labor.
PENTECOSTAL SCHOOL OF REVIVAL
CLASS SESSION 1
GOD CAN CALL BECAUSE OF NATURAL ABILITY – Certain natural abilities and charisma attract the employer and cause him to want to hire an individual. God also is attracted to the natural abilities and qualities of a person because he sees in him something that can be used to further his kingdom. Some people are blessed with an abundance of natural ability. Others must develop their lives through learning to fit into this category. God sometimes calls a person because of his natural abilities. Perhaps he can speak or write well. Perhaps he is a friendly outgoing person. God can evaluate the characteristics of a person and he knows if the person is qualified or can be qualified to do his work. The person with lots of natural ability can easily go into the ministry without Bible School training because he learns rapidly and develops quickly.
GOD SOMETIMES CALLS BECAUSE OF LEARNED QUALITIES – Learned qualities and developed abilities are also recognized by God. Sometimes a person is called into the ministry because he has attended a Bible School or has learned many things through self study. Most people are not qualified for the ministry immediately. There is a period of study and development that each God-called person must go through. Some are called merely on the fact that they have prepared themselves to do the work of God.
GOD ALONE CALLS MEN TO PREACH – Paul said in I Corinthians 9:16, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel…” Only God can call a person to preach. God will not allow man to infringe upon his right to call individuals to preach the gospel. He knows His Church better than anyone else and calls the right person at the right time for definite jobs that must be done. It is important that a person waits upon the Lord to know the Lord’s will for his life. A person should make sure of his call before considering the ministry as a life’s work. The most important qualification for a successful ministry is to be truly called by God to do the work.
SIGNS OF THE CALL TO PREACH – What are the signs that a person is called into the ministry? There are many signs. The first and foremost sign is the amount of desire to study the Bible. The love for the Bible becomes overpowering when one is called to preach. Every spare moment will be spent in Bible study. The Bible is the supreme tool of the minister. If he does not have the desire to study constantly, perhaps the person is not called to preach. The fact that an individual carries a well worn Bible that he has personally worn out, is a fair indicator that God is speaking to the reader.
ANOTHER SIGN – The amount of interest that an individual has in the work of God is another indicator of the call to preach. The Church becomes the person’s life. He lives and breathes, walks and talks, thinks and studies in order that the Church might prosper. He is interested in the spiritual affairs of the Church and the physical appearance of the church building.
BURDEN FOR SOULS – The God-called person has a burning desire to win souls. Romans 5:5 states, “The love of God is spread abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” The Lord has called everybody to be soul-winners and this with-in itself does not mean that a person is called to preach. It is a necessary quality for every Christian to desire to win souls, however the minister has a deeper interest than the average Christian. The God-called person not only wants to win souls to the Lord, He desires to disciple and educate them in the ways of the Lord after they are saved.
A DESIRE TO PRAY – The calling that God places over a person’s life drives him to his knees. Prayer becomes a daily need. He realizes that he cannot function well without first communicating with his Lord and master. How can a person feel called to preach if he never talks to the Lord?
DREAMS AND VISIONS ARE NOT DEPENDABLE SIGNS – Some individuals have felt that they were called to preach because they had visions, dreams and other seemingly spiritual signs. This cannot always be reliable. Dreams and visions can mean various things. Sometimes dreams are fantasies of the mind and have no spiritual value.
CALLINGS ARE NOT IDENTICAL – Every individual is different and the Lord deals with each person in a different way although some signs are common to everyone. The callings of God are very seldom identical to each other. Usually the call beams with a still small voice speaking deep inside of a person. Paul said, “Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is me, if I preach not the gospel.” (I Corinthians 9:16.)
THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY – The Church cannot exist forever without the ministry. Any congregation who attempts to continue for long without a pastor will cease to exist as a Church. The Church must call someone to be the pastor or a member must become the pastor and take the responsibility to lead the flock. The guidance of the congregation must not be left up to chance. God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save men. Those whom God is dealing with about being a part of the leadership should step into the preaching ministry.
THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY IS FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS The five-fold ministry should be taken into consideration by every pastor. The pastor who feels that he does not need the ministry of the remaining four parts of the fivefold ministry will not have a Church congregation that reaches maturity and perfection. God gave the five-fold ministry to the Church to bring about perfection. It cannot be perfected without the use of other ministries in the services. Paul said, “And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints.” (Ephesians 4:11 ) Paul is teaching us that the Lord gave the five ministries to the church as a gift to them.
ALL MINISTERS FIT INTO THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY – All ministers will fit into one or more parts of the five-fold ministry. The ministry of an individual may change several times during the time he serves the Lord in the ministry. A minister may serve as an apostle for awhile; then change to the work of the evangelist; and later may become a pastor or teacher. Usually a new preacher will serve the Lord as a helper, assistant pastor, or co-pastor. As he gains experience, he will move into other ministries.
A DEFINITION OF EACH MINISTRY – We shall now learn the definition of each of the ministries of the five-fold ministry.
THE APOSTLE – Many teach that apostles do not exist in the Church today. Saying that apostles do not exist today is the same as saying that pastors, evangelists, nor teachers do not exist today. The reason that they do not believe that apostles exist today is because they do not understand the work of the apostle. Once a person understands the work of the apostle, he will then understand that apostles are in the present day Church for the perfection of the saints. The word “apostle” means “sent.” The original twelve apostles, along with Mathias (Mathias took the place of Judas) and Paul (Paul was an apostle out of due
season) were the pioneers of the true Jesus name Church. Jesus sent them to a lost world to establish the Church. The original twelve apostles were sent to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth. Acts 1:8, “After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
THE WORK OF THE APOSTLE CONTINUES TODAY – The work of the apostle continues today in the ministry of the pioneer pastor. A pastor is called by God then sent by God and the Church to establish a new congregation. You will notice that only certain ministers can establish a congregation after only a few short months. Some cannot accomplish this in many years because they do not have the calling to be an apostle.
CLASS SESSION 2
THE PROPHET – Most Pentecostals do not understand the work of the prophet and because of this they believe that prophets do not exist today. Some believe that the prophets ministry is so mysterious that nobody can be a prophet in modern times. The prophets ministry is not complicated, nor is it mysterious. In the Bible prophets were people who stirred a large group of people. Entire areas or nations were brought back to God because of this ministry. Only a small part of the ministry of the prophet is foretelling future events. Of course, God used the prophets to foretell the future, however, this was not the principal ministry of the prophet. The principal ministry of the prophet was to bring people back to God through drastic means.
PROPHETS KEEP US INFORMED OF THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES – The Church today has ministers with-in it who specialize in prophecy. They think on prophetic events constantly. They preach and teach on this subject each time they step into the pulpit. God has called these ministers as prophets to help us understand the signs of the times in relation to the present day. Prophesy is difficult to understand if there are no prophets to spiritually discern the signs of the times and inform us of coming events. The Church needs this kind of prophet. Jesus Christ is soon to come. The Church and the entire world must be informed so mankind can be ready for the things that are coming upon the earth.
THE EVANGELIST – What is an evangelist and what does he do? An evangelist is a full or part time minister who travels among the local Churches preaching revivals, special meetings and crusades. He lives from the offerings he receives from the congregations in which he preaches. A pastor may preach revivals, however he is not recognized as an evangelist. Some teach that the work of the evangelist is a pioneering ministry. This is not true. The work of the evangelist is totally different than the work of the pioneer.
EVANGELISTS SPECIALIZE IN BRINGING REVIVAL – An evangelist specializes in bringing revival to the existing local Church. The members enjoy hearing a new voice. When an evangelist is called upon to preach a revival meeting in the local Church, the members have an opportunity to hear someone other than the pastor. During a revival meeting, the members will be awakened from spiritual slumber. Those who have sinned will repent. The Holy Ghost moves through the evangelist to correct spiritual problems and bring perfection to the church. New souls, and backsliders pray through and are added to the congregation.
THE PASTOR – The pastor is the minister whom God calls to oversee the local church. The church is compared to a flock of sheep and the pastor as a shepherd. The pastor is the caretaker of God’s people.
PASTORS ARE GOD’S TREASURERS – The pastors control the money of the church. The money is brought in through tithes and offerings. All of the money does not belong to the pastor, but is to be shared with the Church he pastors and with the other four ministries of the five-fold ministry. The apostle or pioneer minister struggles financially and needs help from the established Churches. The prophet, evangelist and teacher do not control any of the money of the church and must receive offerings from the churches to live. The selfish pastor will not share the tithes, nor offerings with anyone other than his local Church. The other ministries cannot exist as full time ministries without the help of generous pastors.
THE TEACHER – The teacher has a special ministry that assists in perfecting the Church through detailed class sessions. This ministry is especially useful in training workers, evangelists, pastors and other teachers. Bible School instructors and professors fit into this category. The teacher goes into great depth to explain the deep mysteries of the Bible. The teacher can work in a local Church to assist the pastor in instructing the members, however, teachers are needed to travel among the Churches to further establish the members in the true doctrine.
GOD WILL REVEAL HIS WILL – God will deal with newly called ministers in a way that will help them know the type of ministry that He desires for them. Follow the Lord and He will direct your paths.
TRAINING – The most important task of the minister is to serve the needs of the Church and world. He is to present the gospel to the multitudes who are lost without Jesus Christ. To do this effectively, the beginning preacher must receive instructions and training. Training is essential to the Pentecostal preacher, however it is not absolutely required for everybody to attend Bible School. If it is possible, this is great and wonderful, however many workers, pastors, and evangelists can be framed m seminars, short term Bible schools and on the job training without attending a formal Bible school. Nobody can learn the art of preaching and ministering in the classroom only. Practical experience is just as important as formal training.
DEDICATION AND PERSONAL SACRIFICE – The preacher must have a call and be dedicated to the work of the ministry to the point of great personal sacrifice. Usually a member in a local congregation does not experience sacrifice in the measure that a minister must go through. A person who is not dedicated to doing the work of God will soon leave the ministry. Complete surrender to the will of God will make it possible to accomplish the task even though there is much opposition.
THE MINISTER MUST BE A GOOD CHRISTIAN – First and foremost a preacher must be a Christian. This means more than to be a Christian while at worship services or when around the members. He must be a true follower of Jesus Christ. This means to be a Christian in word and deed. The minister must never stoop to anything that will bring reproach to the name of Jesus. If he expects the members to be Christian, he himself must be a Christian in every part of his life.
THE SECRET OF CHRISTIAN CHARACTER – The private life of the preacher is the secret of good Christian character. It is a source of power for Christian service; the lifeline to heavenly things and the door to success with God. How a person lives his private life feeds the outer life that everyone sees. A preacher can never preach a stronger message than that which he lives. His character and soul speaks to the members in every message he delivers.
THE MINISTRY TO OTHERS IS BASED ON CONFIDENCE – The ministry is based on confidence. People must have confidence in the ministry. Confidence is not something we can demand; it is earned over a period of time. Confidence is fragile. Years of building confidence in a minister can be destroyed in a few minutes. A minister cannot continue to be successful in the work of God if his lack of integrity destroys the confidence of the people. The dedicated preacher will not allow anything to come into his life that will hinder his work for the Lord. The qualifications mentioned in I Timothy 3 and Titus I are sobering reminders of what God demands.
BIBLE READING IS IMPORTANT – It is important for a minister to read the Bible each day. Bible reading excites the mind and spirit of the preacher. Since the minister is constantly giving out spiritual things that are in his heart, he must replace the emptiness with spiritual food from Heaven. He will have very little to give to the people without Bible reading. Some ministers only read the Bible to search for a text for a message. It is important to do this, however, the Bible should be read for spiritual refreshment also. Daily devotions should open times of study for personal enjoyment.
START THE DAY WITH PRAYER – Every preacher should start the day with prayer. This refreshes the spirit and makes him ready for the days work for the Lord. The preacher is usually very busy, however, one must never become too busy to talk to Jesus. To find an extra hour for God may mean getting up an hour earlier. It is well worth the time spent in prayer although it is a sacrifice to get up earlier than the other members of the household. There is nothing that compares with feeling the presence of God. Beginning the day in this manner is like taking a refreshing bath. The bath will awake you to natural feelings and the presence of God will awaken you to spiritual feelings.
FASTING – Fasting is one of the- most wonderful ways to get close to God. Jesus is our perfect example. He fasted and obtained victory. We are to follow in his steps and this will help us to obtain the victory also. Fasting is not bargaining with God. The preacher must fast in addition to praying, worshiping, and studying. Fasting is Christian discipline. It says no to the flesh and yes to the Spirit.
THE MINISTER MUST BE THOUGHTFUL AND CONSIDERATE – People do not desire to be around someone who is rude and inconsiderate. This means that people like to be treated right. A minister that is always slandering other people and talking bad of them to others is inconsiderate. God does not require a person to know all the rules of etiquette, but he does expect him to be courteous to all. One minister said, “I do not care what others think. I will say and do anything I desire.” This type of minister cannot have an effective ministry. He will always have trouble with everyone around him, but he will never take the blame. It will always be the other persons fault. A thoughtful and considerate minister will be at home in the mansions of the rich and the humble houses of the poor. He will be willing to converse equally with the learned as with the illiterate and ignorant.
THE MINISTER MUST BE A LEADER – The Pentecostal minister must be a leader. Some have more ability to lead than others, however, each one has his place in leadership. Leadership that is forced upon people is not well received. It is the obligation of the minister to gently lead the congregation into the paths of righteousness without presenting an overly forceful and hateful attitude. It is not wise to have an arrogant spirit, nor a domineering attitude. The members will quickly lose their love for a minister who is arrogant. Jesus compared the members to sheep. You must lead sheep. You cannot drive them. A leader must be confident. He is to show strength, stability, convictions and firmness, but all must be presented in love. Anything short of this will tear down instead of build up the work of God.
THE MINISTER MUST HAVE DIGNITY – Paul informs us that the minister is to be sober. This does not mean that he should have a sad look on his face and be mournful at all times. There are times when the minister’s heart is sad and burdened, however, he must maintain a smile and be cheerful. Laughter and joy are the marks of a happy Christian. This does not mean that the minister should act like a clown, however we must realize that a minister is human and enjoys a good laugh once in a while. Paul wants us to understand that we must be grave and sober when it comes to the things of God. Constant joking in the pulpit is not good although laughter during a message can add something. Remember, frivolity can lower the image of a minister and take away the sacredness from spiritual things.
CLASS SESSION 3
THE MINISTER MUST LIVE A SEPARATED LIFE – The minister must live a life separated from sin. Paul said, “Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” (11 Corinthians 6:17). You are to be separated from the world. You cannot be effective without this separation. Not only must the minister live a life separated from sin, he must live a life separated by the Holy Ghost from the rest of the Church. The minister is in a special class by himself. If the minister allows himself to become too familiar with the people, they will lose some of their respect for him. It Is not good to become friendly to the point that everything about you is known by some individual. Jesus could not do miracles in his home town because the people were too familiar with him.
THE MINISTER MUST BE WILLING TO SACRIFICE FOR SOULS – The true Pentecostal minister has an overpowering love for souls. He will be willing to spend much time and effort to save a soul from Hell. His life is entwined with the lives of others and many times this takes away from his personal life. You must be willing to sacrifice great portions of your life by giving yourself unselfishly to others.
THE MINISTER MUST KNOW WHAT HE BELIEVES – The minister must have deep convictions and know what he believes. He cannot be unstable. James said, “For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” It would be difficult to accept a spiritual leader who is double-minded and does not know what he believes.
THE MINISTER MUST BE BRAVE AND FULL OF FAITH – The minister will be attacked by Satan over and over. Satan knows how to fight, but the Bible says, “Greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world.” In the midst of the battle, you must be brave and full of faith. The minister must stand for truth and righteousness. He must not have fear in his heart in the face of opposition. Courage and faith are intermingled together. “Without faith it is impossible to please him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
THE MINISTER MUST BE PATIENT – Patience in some cases must be learned. In other cases, it comes naturally. Trials, temptations and hardships teach patience. The preacher must trace these problematic situations himself to be able to learn patience with others. He sometimes asks, “Why do I always have problems?” Perhaps God is teaching him patience. After going through a problem, he will know that it was God who carried him through it, thus learning how to wait upon God. The Bible says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Waiting is not always pleasant, however, the rewards are great. Galatians 6:9 states, “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
THE MINISTER MUST HAVE WISDOM – Having wisdom is the art of acting wisely in any given situation. The minister must be a student of human nature. He must learn how to deal with each person in a way that would win him closer to the Lord. “He that lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.” Wisdom cannot always be learned through reading books. The process of dealing with people on a daily basis will teach you the wisest method to use. Wisdom is to be used in conversation with others. It is to be used in the pulpit. Never forget that wisdom must be used m your everyday actions. The Bible teaches us to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
THE MINISTER MUST BE HUMBLE.- God will not continue to use a person who constantly exalts himself Humility is an essential element to be possessed by every minister. Humility is an attitude of the heart. Pride is the enemy of humility. A minister who is lifted up with pride will exalt himself The humble minister exalts God and others.
THE MINISTER MUST BE HONEST – The minister is required to be totally honest m his dealings with God and man. Honesty is a trait to be admired by both the business and church world. There are many temptations presented by Satan to try to discredit a minister. Proper records of the transactions of the church should be kept. Tithing and offerings should be recorded. The new minister should begin his ministry being honest with everyone and not be persuaded differently as God prospers him. The minister’s word should be reliable. When he makes a promise and gives his word, it should be kept even at great personal sacrifice. The church and community will learn to place great confidence in the words of a man that practices this.
THE MINISTER MUST BE INDUSTRIOUS – God is not a fool. He honors an industrious minister and rewards him accordingly. Laziness has no place in his life. The work of the Lord is very strenuous and the demands are great. We cannot expect the Lord”s work to prosper in the earth without hard work on the part of the ministry. Some ministers think that God will do everything. This is not true. He will work with a minister, but the minister must be diligent. The Bible says, “The lazy man’s house droppeth through.”
THE MINISTER MUST TREAT EVERYONE EQUAL – The minister must treat everyone equal. Some members of the Church are more out-going and friendly with the minister and his family. It is easy to like some people much better than you do others. Because of this, the minister must always remind himself that every member of the Church deserves an equal amount of attention. If a minister is partial, the members take notice of it. A source of trouble and division could develop because of a minister’s showing more concern and friendliness with some members and less with others.
THE MINISTER MUST KEEP HEALTHY – The minister’s body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. The minister should see that he gets sufficient rest and outdoor exercise. The busy preacher does not think of this when he is young, however, as the years pass he will wish that he had rested his body more. Eating properly is important. Most ministers over-eat, but for health purposes the minister should be temperate in his eating habits.
THE MINISTER MUST DRESS CAREFULLY AND BE WELL GROOMED The work of the minister demands that he dress his best. Jeans and short sleeve colored shirts have no place in the pulpit. This is proper attire for an outing, however the pulpit is an honored place and we should honor it with dress attire. The male ministers should have a short hair cut and the lady ministers should have uncut hair. Always brush your teeth. This should especially be done if fasting. Bright, flashy, and unusual clothing should be avoided. A minister’s clothing should not be tight and revealing.
THE MINISTER MUST RULE HIS OWN HOUSE – The minister who has children must keep them under subjection. This does not mean that his children should be subjected to more discipline than the members children. A minister is usually busy with his ministerial activities and sometimes let his children run wild. Paul said, “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” (I Timothy 3:4-5)
FEAR TO GO INTO THE MINISTRY – The ministry is the holiest calling that one can receive. Many people have a fear of going into the ministry because they feel that they can never measure up to the standards of the ministry. God has honored you with the highest honor a mortal can know. It would be tragic to forfeit your place in God because of fear. Satan’s key to stopping you from fulfilling the call is to place fear and doubt into your heart. Prayer, consecration, dedication and an open heart are required of all who are called into the ministry. Do not be afraid to step into God’s will.
THE NEW MINISTER AND DISCIPLINE – A New minister needs discipline and development in various responsibilities. He should never be offended if he is disciplined by his pastor. This is part of his training. He needs to learn many things, among which are the taking of responsible tasks and the overseeing of projects, as well as leadership in various fields. The pastor must oversee the efforts of new ministers and demand that they carry out the assignments that are given to them. Before a new minister goes out to preach, he should have the approval of his pastor.
NEW MINISTERS AS ASSISTANTS – In some Churches there are more than one minister. This is good because new ministers must always be in training under their pastor. How can we open new Churches without the help of new ministers? All ministers in a local assembly are assistants to the pastor. They should assist him in the furtherance of the work of God. All ministers in a local church should have the proper attitude towards the pastor.
NEW MINISTERS ARE SERVANTS – All local ministers should see themselves as servants. This means to submit to his leadership. (Ephesians 5:21). They should look for things to help the pastor while preparing for their own ministry. In fact, a minister learns by doing as well as studying. The more a local minister works in a local church, the more he learns that can be used in the future for his own ministry. The local minister should be willing to do any task to take a load off of the pastor’s shoulders. He should be consistent and faithful in maintaining it. There is nothing any more annoying to a pastor than someone who starts out to do a job and does not finish it. As you carry out your duties, God and the pastor will take note of this. More responsibility will be given which leads to the development into a deeper ministry.
DO NOT SPEAK AGAINST THE PASTOR – Sometimes the pastor handles things differently than you would under the circumstances. Do not say anything against him or to him about this. Understand that you do not know all of the facts. God talks to the pastor and you would be wrong to strive for your view, or even mention the matter to others. The pastor of a local minister is his teacher and guide to better things. The local minister is not obligated under God to always correct and condemn his pastor. The last thing any pastor needs is someone to stand on the sidelines and say, “I could do this better.” When a local minister becomes a pastor, he can do things like he desires. Some local ministers who attended Bible School feel that they know everything because of their attendance. Perhaps the pastor never attended Bible School and does not know the methods that the local minister learned. This does not give the graduate authority to attempt to run the Church even though the pastor does not know everything that he knows.
CLASS SESSION 4
THE DIVINE CALL TO BE A PASTOR – After you have recognized your call and prepared yourself, it is time to choose the type of ministry God has in store for you. One of the greatest needs in the present day Church is for ministers with a divine call to pastor or shepherd the flock of Jesus Christ. God desires a pastor to be a shepherd that is willing to give his life for the Church he pastors. The pastor must be more than a leader and preacher. He must combine with these qualities the quality of being a “spiritual father” to God’s people.
THE WORK OF THE PASTOR – There is much work to be done by the pastor. Jesus placed pastors in the Church to minister to the members spiritual needs. His work is perfecting and edifying the body of Christ until the whole body is brought into a condition of divine maturity, strength and unity. As the pastor brings the Church into a place of dedication and consecration, it will grow significantly. The pastor must succeed in bringing the church into a proper spiritual condition in order for souls to be born into the kingdom of God. He must spend time in prayer, counseling and spiritual Bible studies with the people to cause them to walk in the straight and narrow path.
KEEP THE ESTABLISHED MEMBERS STRONG – Is it more important to win a new soul or keep someone who is already converted on the right path? It may seem that winning a new soul would be more profitable to the kingdom of God, but this is not true. It is more important to keep and establish the people who are already converted. Jesus gave a parable of the ninety and nine in Luke 15:3-7. This parable shows us that it was the backslider that was the shepherd’s main concern.
FEEDING GOD’S FLOCK – The word “Pastor” means “Shepherd” or “Feeder of the flock”. Jeremiah said, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3: 15). “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them.” (Jeremiah 23:4) The first obligation of the pastor is to feed the Church on the word of God. Jesus told Peter three times to “Feed my sheep.” Peter wrote, “Feed the flock of God, which is among you.” (I Peter 5 2).
LOVE GUIDES THE PASTOR – Love must guide a pastor in his daily work. Most people are touched by love, sympathy, patience and understanding. The pastor must try to understand the problems and difficulties of the members and handle them with an attitude of spiritual love. He should not be a striker. This means that he should not always strike at people because of their weakness. A pastor that does not have proper wisdom will beat the members with the Word of God. The Word of God is a sword.
If the pastor beats the people, he will cut them seriously and wound them beyond healing. Do not attack the people of God with the Word. Preach to them, but do not do anything in or out of the pulpit to wound the spirits of the people.
THE PASTOR MUST REST – It is very important for a pastor to find time to rest. The creation speaks of the fact that even God rested from his labors. “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made” (Genesis 2:2). In reality, God does not need to rest. He was only setting a precedent for human beings by giving us an example. The minister can continue only as long as his health holds out. One sermon is equal to eight hours of hard labor. The sermon is not just the time spent in the pulpit, but many hours of preparation goes into a message. This does not include the many hours that a pastor spends on other activities for the church. The pastor can become extremely tired with all the many activities that call for time and attention. Ministering has never been an easy job, but now more than ever the demands seem to increase daily. Try to set aside at least one day per week for a time of rest and being with the family.
THE PASTOR MUST FELLOWSHIP WITH OTHERS – No minister should be a loner. Friendship and fellowship are of great importance in the life of anyone, but especially to a minister. The minister who lives and works alone will eventually become weary in well doing. The family of the minister can fill certain needs, however, there are some things that can only be discussed with another minister. A neighboring pastor shares the same problems and experiences of life as you do. Solomon said, two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9:10). Find at least one close friend in the ministry that you can depend on in your times of distress.
MINISTERIAL ETHICS – The word “ethics” is derived from the Greek word “ethos”, which has to do with “habit.” This speaks of the minister’s daily habits in his relationships with others. It is his ministerial standards and character. The minister’s relationship with God is reflected in the relationships that he has with others. Every minister has the obligation to conduct himself in accordance with Christian ethics.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE COMMUNITY – We are not of this world, but we must live in it. We are in this world for a purpose. That purpose is stated in I Corinthians 10:31: “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” We are God’s ambassadors, his representatives. Everything we do must glorify him! Take a long look at how a minister should act towards the community in which he lives. The minister must love the people who live in the community. He must help them and have a warm and friendly attitude towards them. The pastor whom God has chosen to work in a community is pastor over the entire community. He must not only give account for the Church members he pastors,- but he must also give account of the people in his community. The people who live in the area of the Church can feel the response of a local pastor towards them.
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES – The Bible tells us to love our enemies. Make it a habit to speak evil of no man, even if he is your enemy. Speak good of everyone. Love your neighbors. (Matthew 5:44 – 22:34-40)
ASSIST IN TIMES OF DISASTER – The minister must respond and assist in times of distress and disaster. Storms, accidents and floods call for help from God’s people. The minister has an obligation to help those of his community who are in need.
A MINISTER PAYS HIS DEBTS – A minister bring reproach upon the name of the Lord and the church by making debts and . not paying them. This should never be done. A minister may leave a community, but his reputation will never be forgotten. The damage of leaving unpaid debts behind can destroy the churches opportunity to win souls in a community. A minister “must have a good report of them which are without.” (I Timothy 3:7)
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MEMBERS – A good relationship with the members is dependent upon their confidence in you. Therefore, you should always treat them as you would have them treat you. (Matthew 7:12) If you are kind and considerate, you may expect those courtesies in return. If you are harsh, the same attitude and behavior can be expected in return. Patience, forgiveness and longsuffering towards everyone will pay big dividends.
THE EVANGELIST, GOD’S GIFT TO THE CHURCH – Jesus gave evangelists to the Church. They are gifts more valuable than gold and silver. He gave them to the Church for the perfecting of the saints. This means that evangelists definitely are in the plan of God to make the Church ready for His coming. The Church can never be fully perfected with-out all five of the ministries working with-in her. The evangelist is one fifth of the perfecting ministry to the Church.
WHAT IS AN EVANGELIST? The evangelist is a God called minister who steps into a special position that has been chosen by God. He travels from church to church and preaches revival services. The revival meetings usually begin on Tuesday or Wednesday night and continues through Sunday night. The revival continues from week to week for as long as the pastor and evangelist feels that God desires.
SOME THINGS THE MINISTRY OF THE EVANGELIST ACCOMPLISHES
1. The presence of a praying evangelist brings about a revival of prayer, fasting, praise, worship, and soul winning.
2. The preaching of an evangelist turns the lives of the members back to God if they are backsliding.
3. The preaching of an evangelist encourages the pastor to do a better job. The evangelist preaches in the services and relieves the pastor from this responsibility, thus giving the pastor rest.
4. The preaching of the evangelist converts the unsaved.
5. The influence of the evangelist in the pastors home can help convert the pastor’s children.
HOLY GHOST REVIVAL COMES THROUGH EVANGELISTS – Holy Ghost power revivals will sweep the Church through the efforts of God called evangelists. Miracles, Healings, deliverances, and the gifts of the Spirit will make their appearance in the Churches. Altars will be full of weeping sinners and the members will fall to their knees and pray. Nothing can replace anointed preaching in the churches. “The yoke is broken because of the anointing.” God called men and women are to be anointed of God to break the yoke of sin. Power floods the soul as the anointed evangelist screams out against sin and demands action in the pew.
SIGNS IN THE LIFE OF AN EVANGELIST – There are many signs that indicate a minister is called into evangelistic work. An evangelist should be in love with the thought of huge crowds, inspired singing, and seeing the tremendous impact of revival. His thoughts should center around the salvation of souls. An evangelist usually has a fiery ministry. He preaches loud, jumps around a lot, shouts, and dances when he preaches. A “praise the Lord” and a “hallelujah” are often heard from his lips. The evangelist who is full of the fire of God will have the greatest results. If your ministry is fiery preaching, it may be that your calling is to be an evangelist.
THE REAPERS ARE THE EVANGELISTS – In all local congregations, there are times of sowing and reaping. An ebb and flow of opportunity for Church growth and revival is always present. That has been true in all ages and it is no different today. Multitudes of souls are ripe for the gospel and can be won by Spirit filled, impassioned, zealous, God called evangelists.
CLASS SESSION 5
THE EVANGELIST AND CLEAN CONVERSATION – The evangelist is under great stress and burden much of the time. He needs lightness and joy in fellowship with others, but he needs to be careful that his jokes are always clean. Do not be tempted to tell lewd stories and jokes. One bad joke or story leads to another until embarrassment will follow. Once a bad joke or story is told, it can never be retracted.
GOSSIP AND THE EVANGELIST – Gossip can destroy an evangelist’s ministry. Do not speak bad about others. The evangelist must be careful not to repeat things he has heard about others. Lies can be told on others and the evangelist can carry the lies from place to place. Paul wrote in I Timothy 4:12, “”Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” If you cannot say anything good about someone, do not say anything at all.
THE SINGLE EVANGELIST – Paul was not married. It is not a shame for an evangelist to be single. In fact, it is a blessing. The single evangelist has no responsibility for a wife and children. He can travel anywhere, preach anywhere, and if he has no money, there will be nobody to complain against him. The single evangelist has some potential problems.
1. The single male evangelist has a problem of all of the single ladies in the churches he visits Many young ladies think that being the wife of an evangelist would be very exciting. At times, they will do their best to attract the attention of the evangelist during the revival. Several young ladies will sometimes get a competition going over the evangelist. This can destroy the revival. It is best for the single evangelist to not date a girl or flirt during a revival effort.
2. The single male evangelist cannot stay in the house with the pastor’s daughters or wife present if the pastor is not in the home.
The problem is not that they will fall into sin together, but the neighbors and visitors to the pastor’s house might think evil of him.
3. The single female evangelist must be very careful because the same problems can arise for her as for the single male evangelist. She must be very careful to guard against any appearance of evil. Do not be overly friendly with the pastor or the male members of the Church. Do not go anywhere with the pastor without the pastor’s wife going also. Do not remain in the Church building if the pastor is alone in the building.
THE MARRIED EVANGELIST – The evangelist must travel most of the time. If he leaves his wife in another place, he will be very lonely. If he leaves her for a long time, perhaps the evangelist or his wife might be tempted to commit sin. The evangelist must worry about his children. They must be educated somewhere. If the children travel with him perhaps they will not be educated. The married evangelist with children old enough to go to school should think about becoming a pastor. The money an evangelist receives is sometimes very low. It would be very hard for a married evangelist to support his family separate and apart from himself If there are no children in the family or if they are grown and married, it is easy to travel with your companion only.
RULES FOR THE EVANGELIST AND HIS FAMILY – The pastor’s wife should always be advised in advance if any member of the evangelist’s family is fasting. This will help the pastor’s wife to avoid preparing too much food. The evangelist and his family should be prayerful. Sometimes the evangelist is given to much prayer and his family has very little consecration. The evangelist’s family should be prayerful also. The wearing of excessive jewelry can be a problem. Many pastors preach against excessive jewelry. The wearing of flashy jewelry can sometimes cause the revival to die. It is better if the evangelist does not wear jewelry or rings of any kind. The evangelist and his family should always conduct themselves as Christians. They must not be soon angry
and disagreeable, but faithful and easy to get along with at all times.
THE EVANGELIST – REVIVAL AND CRUSADE –
I. There is a tremendous difference between revival and crusade. A revival can happen in a crusade, but crusade does not always bring revival. The definition of revival is: “The awakening of the Church.” The members begin to pray again when prayer has ceased or is very weak. Prayer is contact with God which brings a renewed zeal for the work of God.
2. Revival is something sent from God to man because of man’s desire to get closer to Him. During revival, spiritual worship and praise are revived. The joy of the Holy Ghost experience is excited with-in the members and backsliders come back to God. Sinners are stirred and as a result of the revival among the members and they come to God to receive salvation.
3. Revivals are usually conducted in an enclosed area The reason for this is that sometimes the members feel conspicuous in an outside meeting. They usually do not worship and pray very much during the services because the outside service is directed to the visiting unsaved. A revival meeting is usually conducted inside the church, a rented hall, or tent.
4. The definition of crusade is: A crusade is an evangelistic effort on the part of the pastor, or pastor and members, designed to reach sinners with the gospel. During crusades, the pastor and members give of themselves that others might be saved. The messages are not to be directed to the members during this time. They are to be directed to sinners. A crusade may be held in a basketball court or plaza if permission can be granted from the government. If not, a crusade may be conducted in a hotel, a home, the Church, or anywhere the government will allow you to conduct an outreach.
IN THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES – God will set the evangelist in the valley of dry bones. He will put him in the Church that needs revival. Ezekiel 37:1, “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was-full of dry bones.” Many times an evangelist will complain against the Church because the services are dead and people refuse to respond. The reason God has called you and placed you among the dry bones is so you can be instrumental in reviving them. Do not complain against the members because of their lack of response. Preach to them in power and spirit and God’s word will change them. The evangelist is God’s voice in the spiritual cemetery, just as Ezekiel was God’s voice in the bone-yard. Do not be afraid to be a spokesman for God. Do not be afraid of saying, “Thus saith the Lord God.”
THE EVANGELIST AND FINANCE – I Corinthians 9:7-15, 18, “Who goeth a warfare anytime at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes: no doubt, this is written that he that ploweth should plow in hope: and that he that thresheth in hope should be a partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power, but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that
they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” The evangelist must be like Paul. He learned to live from the gospel he preached. An evangelist who lives from the offerings he receives from the Churches will continue to work for the Lord as an evangelist for many years.
THE PENTECOSTAL HARVEST METHOD – The “Pentecostal Harvest” method of supporting the food for the evangelist is the best method available. The ladies aid leader cuts small pieces of paper and writes some items of food on them. The pieces of paper are passed during the church service prior to the revival meeting. The members are put in charge of bringing the items listed on the pieces of paper. Many ladies, who have unsaved husbands, can participate in this type of offering even though their companion prohibits them from giving money. All members should be asked to contribute for the revival in this manner.
THE EVANGELIST AND THE HOLY GHOST EXPERIENCE – The receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost is absolutely essential to salvation. Anyone in our era of time must have the Holy Ghost baptism to go in the rapture. Since this experience is necessary, the evangelist must press people to receive the experience. This involves preaching convicting and powerful messages to touch them. This is not enough. Prayer for the seekers around the altar is the method God blesses. The evangelist must pray for the seekers. This is not always easy because the evangelist is tired after preaching. Even though the evangelist is tired, he should lay hands on the seekers and they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Pray earnestly, clap your hands, and encourage the members to pray with the seekers. This with-in itself will bring the power of salvation to the lost.
PREACHING? – Many definitions can be found for “preaching.” Preaching is telling the message of God from the Bible in an anointed fashion. Preaching is also the deliverance of a message which talks about God. It is a way of communication to other men so that the good news of Jesus may be known. It is a way of interpreting a text from the Bible to tell people about the will of God.
A BIBLICAL DEFINITION OF PREACHING – The Bible does not give a formal definition of preaching. The most common Greek word in the New Testament for the word “preaching” is Keryssein. It is translated “preach” 53 times. The word is translated “publish” five times. Keryssein means “to proclaim as a herald.” A herald, who was a public messenger, lifted up his voice and called public attention to some news he desired to announce. The job of the herald was very important in the days before the printing press, radio, or other means or media. The herald cried out news events which affected people’s lives. The herald needed a strong voice and sometimes used a horn or trumpet to amplify his voice. The herald delivered the message exactly as it was given to him.
EXAMPLES OF HERALDS – Pharaoh ordered heralds to go in front of Joseph’s chariot, crying out, “Bow the knee!” (Genesis 41:43) King Nebuchadnezzar sent a herald to proclaim his order for all men to “worship the golden image.” (Daniel 3:1-5) Matthew 3:11 states, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the desert of Judea.” Matthew 4:17 speaks of Jesus, “From that time on Jesus began to preach.” Both John and Jesus were heralds.
CLASS SESSION 6
PREACHING DEMANDS RESPONSE FROM THE LISTENERS Preaching demands response from the listeners. The proclamation includes asking people to do something. The messenger requests the listener to decide. The Biblical preacher preaches so decisions will be made to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus preached and asked the people to repent and accept his kingdom. Acts 8:12 indicates that Philip preached the good news causing the people to place their faith in Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 1:21 explains that God was pleased that through the foolishness of preaching that men can be saved. Throughout the New Testament preaching involves the listeners making a decision about the message. Preaching is the proclamation of the good news of Jesus by one representing Christ, urgently appealing for the hearers to respond positively to the will of God.
PREACHING INVOLVES ETERNITY – Urgent desire should seize the preacher when he understands the importance of preaching and the preparation for preaching. Eternal life and eternal punishment are involved in the hearers response to the good news. The hard work needed to prepare to preach should be gladly assumed. Every effort to preach more effectively will have the blessings of Jesus Christ upon it.
THE PREACHING OF JESUS – The first written record of the ministry of Jesus gives a summary of his preaching. Mark 1:14-15 informs us that Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, “The time has come” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” Jesus preached the good news. He declared the message of life as a herald from heaven and demanded action from those who heard him preach.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT – Jesus preached the sermon on the mount as recorded in Matthew Chapters five and seven. It is considered to be the most outstanding message of the Bible by many scholars. It is a sermon which describes life in the Kingdom of God. He shared the good news of blessings in His Kingdom and He boldly proclaimed the responsibilities of a member of his Kingdom. The sermon on the mount is a message about sin, murder and unjust anger. (Matthew 5:27-28) It covers adultery and lust (Matthew 5:27-28), worry (Matthew 6:25-34), judging (Matthew 7:1-2) and hypocrisy (Matthew 7:3-5). Jesus spoke about sin and the need for people to turn away from sin.
PETER WAS A PREACHER – The Holy Ghost was poured out upon the church on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-13) Peter was the preacher that was chosen by Jesus Christ to preach on this day. The Holy Ghost was given so Peter and others could have power to witness, to preach, and to serve. Acts 1:8 states, “After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, ye shall be witnesses…” It was this power that enabled Peter to preach on the day of Pentecost in such a powerful fashion.
FOLLOWING PETER’S EXAMPLE – Peter’s message found in Acts 2:14-40 is an excellent example of first century preaching. Notice that Peter began his message in the appropriate place. The people had questioned the language miracle and some accused the disciples of drunkenness. Peter answered this charge and used it as a beginning point to explain the miracle. The Old Testament prophet Joel was quoted as a scriptural explanation about the events just experienced. Peter used other scriptures in his sermon – Psalms 16, Psalms 110:1. He focused his message on the life of Jesus, his death, his resurrection, and heavenly ascension. He proved the credibility of his message by preaching the Lordship of Jesus Christ. “Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this same Jesus, whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
PETER’S MESSAGE INCLUDED THE SUBJECT OF SIN – The Apostle Peter’s message included the subject of sin. He boldly told the crowd that they had put Jesus to death. His voice rose above the crowd as he told the people to turn away from sin and repent. Preaching is incomplete without preaching against sin. God used this message about personal sin and Jesus Christ to convince the people of their sin. The Bible says that “they were cut to the heart.” This is God’s way of letting the people know that their sins are known by him.
PETER INCLUDED THE PLAN OF SALVATION IN HIS PREACHING Peter continued to preach the good news of the gospel when he explained the plan of salvation on the day of Pentecost. “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of .Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) The plan of salvation should be included in almost every evangelistic message when the unsaved are present.
PETER CONCLUDED HIS MESSAGE WITH AN APPEAL – Peter warned the people in his message and then he asked them for a decision. He urgently appealed for the crowd to accept the gospel. Three thousand people accepted his message and were baptized. An evangelistic type message is never complete without an appeal for the people to change their lives through the obedience to God’s word.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PETER’S PREACHING
1. Scripture was used and applied to the lives of the people.
2. The message included the news about Jesus Christ. 3. The preaching about sin was included. 4. The people were asked to make a decision.
PREPARING THE PREACHER – Preaching is defined as the communication of truth by man to man with the anointing of God upon it. There are two essential elements in preaching: truth and personality. God calls men and women who are willing to use their personality and ability to present the truth in a manner acceptable to others. The message can be hindered by the preacher if he does not prepare properly. An important part of the preparation to preach is the preparation of the preacher.
GOD HELPS PREPARE THE PREACHER – Preachers are prepared through a personal encounter with the Lord. No preacher is ready to speak to others until he has first listened to and talked with the Lord. God prepares the preacher to preach in many ways.
1. He encourages and prepares us through the influence of wise friends and strong pastors. A wonderful pastor can be a great blessing from God to prepare others to preach the gospel.
2. God often requires a minister to wait for his ministry. This is God’s way of causing us to prepare for His work. Moses waited for many years for his ministry. He was eighty when he began.
3. God prepares a minister through life experiences. The many trials and temptations that a minister goes through prepares him to preach to others.
4. God prepares man to preach as man studies the Word of God. Sermon preparation is practical work. It involves the discipline of study. The Word of God must be interpreted and then communicated to the people in ways they will understand. When it comes to study, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Excuses are easily turned into reasons for not studying. Effective Biblical preaching requires study preparation.
THE LACK OF ADEQUATE SERMON PREPARATION – The goal a preacher should possess is to do me best he can possibly do in sermon preparation. Whenever God’s servants attempt to do their best, Satan works in opposition to them. He will provide excuses to make us feel better when we have not prepared well. A minister must learn not to make excuses. Repentance and a new direction with the help of Jesus Christ is the best solution for faulty preparation.
PREPARE THE FOOD WELL – One of the most terrible feelings a preacher can have is to run out of time before a church service and be ill prepared to preach. A preacher who stumbles through his message presents a poor image to the people. A cook who prepares food that does not taste well will long be remembered as a poor cook. A preacher who does not prepare an appetizing message will also also be remembered as an inadequate preacher.
MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE LACK OF PREPARATION – You will certainly grow in your preaching ability as you resist excuses. Look at the excuses that are given by many ill prepared preachers.
1. I do not have time to prepare. A preacher lives and works in a world of time. The Bible says, “There is a time for everything” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). When you preach a message, you know that you must begin to prepare another. If you are to preach on Sunday, do not wait until Saturday evening to prepare to preach. Begin as soon as you know you are scheduled to preach. Make preparation your first business for the Lord and you will always have time for preparation.
2. I was interrupted by someone. If you wait until the last minute to study, somebody may come by to talk with you and take up your time. You cannot do your visitors, nor your message justice if you are trying to think of your message while you are talking to them. Many times you cannot rush them off by telling them that you must have time for sermon preparation. Prepare early and if this happens, you will not be nervous in the pulpit when it comes time to preach.
3. I work on a secular job. Those who work on a secular job and also preach regularly have more pressure on them regarding time. Look for periods of time throughout the day that you might get in some extra moments of study.
4. I have family responsibilities. Your time may be taken up by family responsibilities, especially if the minister has a large family.
Sometimes the house is small and there seems to be no place to be alone with the Lord to study. Give time to the family, however, you must remember to give adequate time for sermon preparation well in advance of your preaching engagement. Search out a private place that is away from your family for sermon preparation. If this cannot be done while the children are awake, wait until they are asleep to study.
5. I do not need to study because God will give me what I need to say. The preachers who use this excuse refer to Matthew 10:19, “Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say.” Jesus was not talking about preaching, but the testimony given in a time of persecution. Every preacher is instructed to do the best possible to be a workman that needs not to be ashamed who correctly handles the word of truth. Without study a preacher cannot do his best in the pulpit.
CLASS SESSION 7
PREACHING RESOURCES – Effective preaching requires some resources. A person looks at a road map or asks directions to be able to arrive at a distant destination. Resources are needed to arrive at desired objectives in preaching. There are basic resources to enable you to reach your preaching objectives. Books, life experiences, preaching cassettes, along with the Bible are important to good sermon preparation. A carpenter needs tools, wood, and nails to do his job. A preacher also needs tools to help him prepare to preach.
THE BIBLE – A preacher may say, “I do not have a library of books as resources for my messages.” The Bible contains a library of sixty-six books. Since you are to preach God’s Word, a Bible must be your first resource. Obtain a nice large Bible before you buy other books. Study the Bible first. When the Bible is the first focus of sermon preparation, your messages will be stronger and have more authority. You should take your messages both from the Old and New Testaments for the whole Bible is the inspired Word of God.
STUDY BIBLES – Many Bibles contain helps. Maps, a small concordance, outlines, references of other scriptures on the same subject, and other features. Beware of some of the notes in study Bibles as they sometimes contain false doctrine.
TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE – Many languages of the world only have one translation. Others have many translations. The Spanish and English Bibles are examples of this. The use of different translations can assist you in understanding a massage, however some translations promote error. Speak to your organizational officials concerning the acceptable version of the Bible in your language.
CONCORDANCE – A second basic resource book is a concordance. This will be a great help to using your Bible to your best advantage. A Bible concordance lists the words used in the Bible and where they may be located. A concordance is valuable because it enables you to find out what the Bible says about itself With a concordance you can locate other scriptures which comment on the same idea of the passage you are studying.
A WORD DICTIONARY- A common and yet exhaustive dictionary is important to the understanding of words used in the Bible. You will need a dictionary to determine the deep definition of words. If you do not understand the full meaning of a word, do not hesitate to look it up so you can expound on its meaning.
BIBLE DICTIONARY – A Bible dictionary is different than an ordinary dictionary. If lists Bible terms, names of cities, names of areas, etc. to assist you in understanding some words that cannot be found in an ordinary dictionary. You must know word meanings to effectively explain the Bible and apply it to life.
COMMENTARIES – Commentaries offer a writer’s interpretation of the Bible. Some commentaries include comments that make good sermon illustrations. It is best to first purchase a one volume commentary of the entire Bible. You should examine the background of the writer. Many errors are taught in commentaries. Beware lest you fall into error through the use of commentaries.
BOOKS OF SERMONS – Sermon books provide a lot of useful material. You must sort through a lot of false doctrine in some sermon books to extract a small amount of information you can use. Sermon books may provide illustrations that can be useful. Consult sermon books only after you have done your own Bible study and followed the Lord’s leadership in preparing a message. God will bless you with a message if you depend on Him.
RELIGIOUS BOOKS – Religious books can be found in some book stores, however, the problem with these books is the background of the writers. They are usually slanted towards a certain religious group and contain doctrines that are not totally Bible truths. You may derive help from these books, but beware of false doctrine.
FREE BOOKS – Free books or books that are priced ridiculously low are usually slanted towards the persons personal point of view unless they are from your own organization or church. They can influence you easily if you accept them without reviewing them for false doctrines. Cults, false religions, non Christian groups, and heretics use the printed page to spread doctrinal error among gullible people. Do not accept free books, nor pass them out among the people of God without reviewing them for error. Unless you do, confusion can occur and division will be the end result. Beware! Heed this warning!
PREACHING CASSETTES – Preaching cassettes can be used to your good advantage. Thoughts from others can assist you to bring well rounded out messages. There is nothing new under the sun. The only problem with using preaching tapes of others is that a preacher can become a slave to this. His mind will refuse to function if he practices getting his message from a cassette always. The use of preaching tapes is a shortcut that requires very little study and prayer on the part of the one who repeats them in the pulpit. Beware lest you preach messages to the flock of God that were not designed for them to receive.
RADIO AND TELEVISION SERMONS – Preachers of false doctrines use the airways to spread their erroneous messages. Radio preachers usually preach messages that are simple and do not apply to the true Church. A minister who gets his messages from television preachers is walking in error. God desires a minister to study, not occupy his time watching false prophets on the so called gospel stations. How could the true Church prosper if the pastor gets his messages from preachers who walk in darkness?
SERMONS FROM FALSE CHURCHES – There are many false churches in the world pastored by false prophets. A minister of the true Church has no business visiting false churches in search of sermon materials. Campaign evangelists from false churches and cults are visiting many nations. A minister is not to go forth to embrace these carriers of truth bearing errors. They hide error in the midst of truths. Remember, the serpent just added a little to the command of God given to Adam and Eve and made it a lie.
PRAYER, A WONDERFUL SERMON RESOURCE – A praying minister can get messages to preach to the church while he is praying. Always have a pen and notebook with you when you go to prayer. God may speak to you during your prayer and give you an outstanding thought. Pray the scriptures. This will excite the Holy Ghost inspiration in you. Your mind and heart will be enriched with valuable thoughts for your pulpit ministry. Pray an hour before service and this will quicken spiritual thoughts to add to the message you have prepared earlier.
LIFE EXPERIENCES, A GOOD SOURCE FOR SERMON MATERIAL – Life experiences are an overwhelming source of sermon material. Your daily life and your dealings with other people can give you outstanding sermon illustrations. Do not tell the same illustrations over and over again. Some aged ministers repeat themselves to the same congregation. This shows that the minister is not studying, but is relying on past experiences to cover for his lack of study. Life experiences can be good illustrations, however, too many of them in one message can make it long and drawn out with very little spiritual and Biblical content.
BOOKS OF ILLUSTRATIONS – Books that contain illustrations for sermons can be filled with invented stories. It is possible to preach something that you have read and lie to the congregation. Illustrations about individual happenings can be inflated and border on exaggeration. Beware of these illustrations lest your message be taken from them instead of from the Bible.
HEAR-SAY AND GOSSIP – Hear-say and gossip are something that is told to a person as truth, yet could be false information. Many ministers have been caught in situations where they repeated something they thought was truth because someone they felt was reliable told them something. Beware of hear-say and gossip. You may repeat a lie that is being told maliciously.
TYPES OF SERMONS – There are many different types of sermons. Two basic types are the topical and expository sermons.
THE TOPICAL SERMON – To remember the definition of a topical sermon, you must remember the key word is “subject”. In a topical sermon only the subject or topic comes from the Bible passage used as your text. The way the message is developed comes from your knowledge and what you can find out about the subject through research. A topical message has one subject. Each part of the sermon is concerned with that one subject or topic. A minister who preaches a topical message must remember that he is to stay with his subject.
EVANGELISTIC MESSAGES – Most evangelistic messages are preached as topical sermons. The following outline is a topical outline.
SUBJECT: Baptism in God’s Plan – TEXT: Mark 16:15-16 Acts 2:37-38
1. Jesus set the example for baptism. Matthew 3:13-17
2. Jesus commanded us to baptize. Mark 16:15-16
3. Peter held the keys to the kingdom. Matthew 16:
4. Peter baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:37-38
5. The Samaritans were baptized in Jesus name. Acts 8:
6. The Gentiles were baptized in Jesus name. Acts 10:48 .
7. We must follow the examples set forth in the Bible
THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTIONS – The easiest way to bring thoughts to your mind while preparing a message is to use thought provoking questions. These questions are: How? When? Where? Why? What? How many?, and What did it accomplish? Select a verse of Scripture such as Acts 2:38 and ask yourself these questions. Thoughts will immediately began to flow into your mind. It will be easy to prepare a message from a verse or several verses.
SHOTGUN PREACHING – A shotgun is not like a rifle. A rifle shoots only one bullet and can be aimed and shot directly into the center of the target. The shot in a shotgun scatters in many directions in hopes that one or more will hit the target. Shotgun preaching is when a minister does not have a subject, but preaches everything that jumps into his mind. A minister that preaches like this has not organized his thoughts and neither can the congregation organize their thoughts about what is preached.
CLASS SESSION 8
OUTLINES – An outline of a message should be made in advance of a preaching engagement. It is difficult to stay with a subject if there is no outline. Even messages that are preached over and over again should be well outlined. If a repeated message does not have an outline, the minister will find his message losing its original direction. A minister should never go to the pulpit without an outline. The outline can be followed, however, if the minister finds a channel the Lord wishes him to follow, he can always leave the outline to follow God. Topical sermons should always be presented through the use of an outline.
THE ADVANTAGES OF A TOPICAL SERMON – Topical sermons have some advantages.
1. They are easier to have unity in them than other types of sermons.
2. The main subject is always at the center of attention and can be easily understood.
3. The idea comes from the text itself and the minister must develop the additional material. This helps the minister to grow in the knowledge of the Lord.
THE WEAKNESS OF A TOPICAL SERMON – A weakness of a topical sermon is a weak connection to the text. It is possible to use a text for an airport where the airplane never comes back to land. It is said about some so-called topical messages, “He took his text from the scripture and never returned to the same scripture to fully explain it.” The scripture text becomes a way to get into the message but becomes unrelated to the message after the sermon begins.
THE EXPOSITORY SERMON – An expository sermon takes a passage of scripture and exposes the meaning and applies it to life. The subject and all the divisions of the sermon come from the same scripture passage. This is the oldest type of preaching. Expository sermons usually contain more scripture teaching and result in more systematic study of the Bible than the topical sermon. Some consider this type of preaching monotonous and tiring. It can become an excuse for laziness if a preacher only reads a passage of scripture and makes a few remarks. This criticism can be overcome by effective preparation. An example of an expository outline follows.
SUBJECT: A Message From David to the Discouraged
Verse 1, The – The meaning of “the” is one. There is only one God. This one God isinterested in man.
Verse 1, The Lord – God is the Lord of all. Make him the Lord of your life.
Verse 1, The Lord is – The Lord is everything to us. The Lord is my healer. The Lord is my Savior. The Lord is my counselor.
Verse 1, The Lord is my – “The Lord is my” means that he is mine. I possess him as my father, my friend, and the only God of my life.
Verse 1, The Lord is my shepherd. He is our guide that gives us direction.
GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING EXPOSITORY SERMONS
1.. Carefully choose the details in the text you will emphasize. Only use the details that are most important and support the main theme of the message.
2. Avoid quoting too many references from other places in the Bible. This will lessen the attention on the text you are seeking to expound.
3. Be sure the exposition has an application to life.
SERMON OBJECTIVES – All sermons must have an objective to be effective. The objective is the aim and the purpose of the message. What is your desired result in preaching the message? Without an objective, a sermon is just religious talk that has no impact. Preaching has three levels of objectives: total objective, major objectives, and specific objective.
TOTAL OBJECTIVE – The overall purpose of all ministry is that others might have life and have it more abundantly. Preaching is one part of the ministry that shares this total objective. Every time a minister goes to the pulpit he should ask these questions. Will this message bring life to the people? Will this message present a way people can better themselves and grow in Christ? Can this message open hearts to receive a greater measure of the Spirit of Jesus Christ?
MAJOR OBJECTIVES – To derive the major objective of a sermon, ask yourself this question. What is the major goal of this message? Determining the major goal for a message will help maintain unity and provide direction. The major objective is the area of life in which the message focuses. There are six major objectives for sermons.
1. Evangelistic – messages which bring the unsaved to Jesus Christ and salvation.
2. Devotional – messages with the desire to cause people to love God more.
3. Doctrinal – messages which explain Bible doctrines.
4. Ethical – messages which apply Bible teachings to daily life.
5. Consecrative – messages directed to the members asking for a greater commitment to Jesus Christ and His work.
6. Pastoral – messages that minister to people in crises and suffering. The purpose is to give hope, comfort, and encouragement.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE – The specific objective is what you want the hearers to do after hearing the message. Remember, preaching is the proclamation of the good news of Jesus by a God called minister who makes an urgent appeal for the hearers to respond positively to the will of God. Specific objectives can be as follows:
1. Preaching which causes sinners to seek God.
2. Preaching which causes members to devote themselves more to God.
3. Preaching which causes people to grow in doctrinal truths.
4. Preaching which causes people to think about changing their lives.
5. Preaching which causes people to seek for a deeper life in God.
6. Preaching which encourages the members when they are discouraged.
PREACHING AND TEACHING – The minister is a God called individual. Hebrews 5:4 states, “No man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God.” No matter what type of ministry that God calls a person into, it all involves preaching and teaching the Word of God. There is a difference in teaching and preaching? Preaching can be classified as exhorting. It is usually done in a loud voice and with much visible anointing. Teaching is done much slower and with the use of many scripture references. The anointing is manifested in a different way, however, the anointing for both ministries is just as powerful and beneficial. A pastor who only preaches and never teaches will not establish the members very well. Teaching is an establishing ministry.
PREACHING WITH A WRONG ATTITUDE – A message preached in the wrong attitude can destroy instead of build up. The spirit, the attitude, the method of presentation and the minister’s appearance all add to or detract from the effectiveness of the message. The minister is to be loving, warm, tender, respectful, honorable, Christ-like and eager to help, uplift, comfort, guide, assist and minister. He should not be arrogant, full of pride, threatening, unbending, aloof and carnal. A good message from God can be offensive if it is not preached in love and with kindness. Remember, the people cannot speak back to you to defend themselves while you are preaching. In fact, the members may never tell you if you are presenting the message in a bad manner, but their lack of continued attendance may speak louder than words.
BAD HABITS IN THE PULPIT – Fill words should not be used in the pulpit. Some ministers say “My brethren, Praise the Lord” or other fill words hundreds of times during their message. This is very annoying and tends to make the minister appear uneducated end ignorant. Avoid annoying mannerisms. Don’t button and unbutton your coat, play with your tie or microphone, or jingle money in your pocket, or rock back and forth. Do not nervously keep looking up or down or close your eyes while preaching. Look directly at the congregation or slightly over their heads. Avoid a monotonous drone or an unnatural pitch of your voice. Let every member of the congregation feel that you are speaking directly to them.
CONDUCTING CONGREGATIONAL SERVICES – All worship services are important. Each week, the members have their personal battles and their Christian lives must be strengthened during the services. Not only do the members suffer spiritual depletion, they also face frustration in trying to cope with their daily lives. The minister must be concerned about every service in which he is involved because the members deserve the very best that the minister can do. No service should be taken lightly. Every service should be well prepared for, and the minister himself should be spiritually prepared to lead the service. To have an excellent service, the ministers involved should be cleansed from frustration, negative attitudes and discouragement. They must be filled with positive, strengthening and loving attitudes. Whatever is inside the minister and worship leaders will be projected into the congregation.
MEET WITH THE WORSHIP LEADERS BEFORE THE SERVICE – The pastor should meet with the worship leaders before the service and pray together. At that time, they can review a projected outline for the service. Special singers and all Musicians should be included in the before-service meeting. The worship leaders, musicians and singers will have a special time to communicate with each others.
BEGINNING STATEMENTS – The beginning statements in a service are very important to the rest of the service. The opening statements usually set the pattern of the service. Some pastors and worship leaders start with something like this. “Let’s everyone sing.” There should be scripture introduction at the beginning of the service intermingled with several thoughts concerning worship. A good dedicated member of the church can read the Bible from the pulpit for a few minutes before the service to set the mood for the service.
BRING THE PEOPLE INTO ONE MIND – Everything is important in a public service, even the way we ask people to stand or pray. The minister’s statements and gestures should be clear, concise and definite as he invites the congregation to stand, sit or worship. The people will unite themselves into one mind and one accord if the voice from the pulpit is clear and definite.
ORGANIZE THE ORDER OF THE SERVICE – Most of the time the services have a form. In every service there should be prayer, worship and preaching. Testimonies, special singing, choir singing and other activities are optional. It is important to cut the services short on school days. The minister should be mindful of the fact that the children must attend school and cannot stay up late. The members appreciate this and as a result the attendance is greater.
CLASS SESSION 9
TIMES FOR CHURCH SERVICES – He of the services can be adjusted to fit the situation of the local Church. Some members live far from the Church and it is difficult for them to attend two services on Sunday. Some Churches can have two separate services without problems and others can have only one. Sunday School should be part of your Sunday worship schedule. An evangelistic service should also be included in the Sunday worship time. This is a service that is designed to promote worship and the conversion of souls.
ORGANIZING THE CHURCH – A portion of the work of the pastor is to organize the congregation. All things must be done decently and in order. To be effective, certain officials must be appointed. This can be applied if the Church is small or large. The pastor that finds other people to do the work is wise for this relieves him of part of the load.
A BALANCED CHURCH PROGRAM – A balanced Church program is just as important as any of the individual offices or functions of the Church. The Holy Ghost calls the members of the Church to work as a team. They must cooperate with each other according to a united plan of action. What are the essential elements of a healthy local Church? There are at least four fundamental activities that must be present in any Church for it to be successful.
1. Reaching the community. – Healthy Churches discover the kinds of people who live in their area and understand the needs of the people, so that they can provide activities designed to meet these needs and create a strong public awareness of the Church. This cannot be done by the pastor alone. Others must participate to make the Church operate smoothly.
2. Winning people to the Lord – Healthy churches cooperate with the Holy Ghost in establishing meaningful relationships with those attracted to Jesus Christ, provide opportunities for them to become acquainted with His Word and fellowship, and challenge them to become His disciples. Again, this cannot be fully accomplished by the pastor alone.
3. Provide for continuing spiritual growth – Healthy Churches provide for the continuing spiritual growth of all their members through enthusiastic worship, interesting Bible study, supportive friendships, and opportunities for significant service. The assistance of all of the members cause the growth to happen.
4. Inspiring leadership – Healthy churches have pastoral and lay-leaders that help the congregation to identify with the needs of the Church and the community.
METHODS OF OUT-REACH
1. Branch Sunday Schools – Branch Sunday Schools can be a blessing to the local church. They must be organized properly and have sufficient interest to hold the pupils. Branch Sunday Schools may be conducted in the area of the church. They usually meet in homes, rented buildings, garages, or in the open air. A loyal member of the church must be placed over the Branch Sunday School because he is overseeing a part of the flock of God. The attendance in the Branch Sunday School will be counted in the general attendance of the church Sunday School.
2. House Services – House services may be conducted in the homes of the members or any home that is made available for the purpose. They may be conducted on a regular basis or at the convenience of the persons in charge. House services are different from a Branch Sunday School because they are church worship services instead of teaching sessions. The pastor must be careful to keep the house services under control because people have a tendency to break away from the local church and form their own. Some house services may develop into churches. This is good if this is what the pastor feels is best.
3. Home Bible Studies – Home Bible study sessions are not Branch Sunday Schools, nor are they house services. A home Bible study is conducted by a member of the church with a friend, neighbor, or others in hopes of winning them to the Lord. Home Bible study sessions usually last no more than an hour. There is no singing, testimonies, or other types of worship other than prayer. A series of Bible studies may be taught for several weeks or the study can be a one time thing to do. Many souls can be won with this method.
4. Children’s Choir – A children’s choir may be formed with children from the neighborhood. Many children are attracted to singing and the opportunity to use their talents. Parents become excited when they know their children will be put on exhibition at a local choir concert. The parents of the children are won to the Lord through the contacts made because of the interest you have in their children.
5. Gospel Singing and Concert Crusades – A local concert in a vacant lot, park, rented building, or government hall may be conducted to attract new members. (If permitted by law) A Gospel Singing is for one night only, however, a Concert Crusade is a series of Gospel Singings with an emphasis on converting the lost.
6. Children’s Vacation Bible School – A vacation Bible school is usually conducted during the time when the children are not in school. It usually consists of making crafts and instructions in the ways of God. Vacation Bible school usually is conducted for three or at the most five days.
7. General Short-term Bible Schools – The Church organization usually conducts Bible Schools on a year to year basis. A local short-term Bible school is usually conducted in a Church building or rented hall and is open to everyone who wishes to attend. This can be people from the denominational churches in the area. A formal atmosphere may be created with a little forethought. A short term Bible School may continue for several nights, but should not continue for more than thirty days.
8. Special for the Sick – There are many sick and many people that live in the area of the local Churches. Many are suffering with chronic sickness and disease. Others have no hope except for a miracle to happen. These people should be invited to a special faith-building service on an off church night or on Saturday afternoon. Prayer should be conducted for each person. It is important to not rush through the prayers for an individual. Remember, a doctor who has a good practice spends time with each of his patients. Jesus is the great physician and time must be spent encouraging the sick person.
9. House to House Visitation – House to house visitation is one of the most difficult types of outreach. It is difficult to walk up to a door and attempt to meet the people, invite them to church, and expect them to be in service the next Sunday. Prayer will make the difference. The visitation team must pray earnestly that they will be led to people who will readily accept the word of the Lord.
QUALIFICATIONS OF CHURCH LEADERS – God supplies each person in the Church with the resources for ministry. These are the Scriptures, spiritual power, God’s character, and special gifts.. These things enable the officers of the Church to unselfishly meet the needs of others through practical help. The exercise of these special gifts often assists a person with a gift of teaching, or evangelism, and releases them to minister the Word of God. There are important qualification that a pastor must observe before selecting anyone to fill a position in the Church.
1. The person must live a repented life, have experienced baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and have the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking with unknown tongues.
2. He must not have bad habits such as drinking beer etc. and smoking of cigarettes.
3. The life of a Church leader must be above reproach.
4. Faithfulness is required to carry on the work of God.
5. Constant attendance to all services is demanded.
6. He must be a faithful tither and supporter of the work of God.
THE ASSISTANT TO THE PASTOR AND PASTOR’S ASSISTANT There is a vast difference between an assistant to the pastor and an assistant pastor. The assistant to the pastor helps the pastor to perform his duties without authority of his own. He does anything that needs to be done to take the load off of the pastor. The assistant pastor helps in pastoring the people. Persons in these positions must learn their place. They are always to be in subjection to the pastor and consult with him concerning all of their activities. Talking against the pastor to members of the Church is prohibited. Counseling with the members must be approved by the pastor. The assignment of ministerial duties should always come from the pastor. This includes visiting the sick and suffering, shut-ins, widows and orphans. The encouraging of the discouraged members and the elderly are placed squarely on his shoulders. He is to preach when called upon or is willing to sit near the pulpit to be ready to assist at any time. The responsibility also involves making sure the pastor is comfortable at all times. He should make sure the pastor receives his food first when food is served.
THE CHURCH SECRETARY – TREASURER – Finances are an important part of the ministry of the laity. Local Church finances are usually handled by a member of the congregation with business skills. The person in this key position must:
1. have the proper educational qualifications.
2. not be a gossiper.
3. be loyal.
4. be diligent to keep accurate records.
5. be willing to give a financial report at the annual church business meeting.
6. release funds whenever it is demanded by the pastor.
7. retain the funds in a safe place; such as a bank or lending institution. If a bank is not available, the secretary – treasurer must
keep the church funds as safe as possible.
8. not discuss church finances with anyone other than the pastor or to someone he designates.
DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY – TREASURER – The Church secretary-treasurer is delegated the responsibility of attending all Church business meetings. The purpose is to properly enter the minutes of the meetings. The official copy of the minutes should include complete copies of all reports, documents and financial statements. All membership records are entered by the secretary-treasurer. This is important in case a vote is taken on a new pastor or other matters. Birth, dedication, and baptismal records are to be completed and filed by the Church secretary-treasurer. It is important that all certificates are completed for presentation. The Secretary-Treasurer safeguards the money of the Church and keeps records of all transactions.
COORDINATOR OF LADIES ACTIVITIES – The Coordinator of Ladies Activities is a key position in the church. The responsibility includes, planning activities and services for the ladies, teaching the ladies at specially planned meetings, planning and carrying out of fund raising activities and leading the ladies in prayer meetings. She must be dedicated and willing to spend many hours of sacrificial work for the ladies projects designed to help the local church. Funds can be generated to buy land, build churches, help missions, and other worthy projects through the ladies. The Coordinator of Ladies Activities must be loyal to the Church and pastor, be an example of the believer, and live a holy life above reproach.
CLASS SESSION 10
SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT – The Sunday School Superintendent is to be the example of a believer. He should understand the workings of the Sunday School Department of your local church and be energetic about it. The purpose of the Sunday School is to make disciples for Jesus Christ. It includes the nurture of spiritual growth in members and prospective members. The purpose of Sunday School makes it very important that the right person is selected to be the Superintendent.
THE WORK OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT – The ministry to which a person is called when he or she becomes the Superintendent of the Sunday School can be described as follows:
I. The Sunday School Superintendent supervises all the leaders of the Sunday School Department. He encourages them to perform their duties cheerfully and effectively. 2. His work is to make arrangements for-the Sunday School staff to get the training, support, and resources they need. There is a constant need to find helpers for every aspect of the Sunday School. Helpers, teachers, and other leaders are involved through his efforts.
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER – A Sunday School teacher has a very special ministry. That of reaching a particular age group with the gospel of Jesus Christ. In each class are regular members, the newcomers, out of town visitors and friends or relatives of members. All of these are individuals who come to Sunday School looking for fellowship around the Word of God. This is the reason that the Sunday School teacher must be trained and qualified to do the work. The time involved in lesson preparation and leading a Sunday School class depends on the background and training of the teacher. Usually a successful teacher will devote three to five hours in preparation during the week.
THE WORK OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER – The duties of a Sunday School teacher are as follows:
1. Before opening God’s Word to teach, there must be preparation. A good habit for the teacher to establish is to spend an hour each day in preparation to teach.
2. At the beginning of each class session, it is essential to make newcomers, as well as regular members, feel welcome. A simple question like “What has your week been like?” can help everyone to feel cared for and let go of the worries of the week and concentrate on Bible study.
3. It is important that the students in the Sunday School classes learn the practical application of Bible truths. This means that the teacher must teach on the level of the students in the class. Teaching the Word of God will have little effect unless the students can relate their lives to the instructions they are given.
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER
1. The life of the Sunday School teacher must be above reproach.
2. The doctrine of the Sunday School teacher must be sound.
3. The teacher must have obeyed the basics of salvation.
4. The teacher needs to have formal training to be totally successful.
5. The Sunday School teacher must be faithful to church attendance.
YOUTH DIRECTOR – As youth director, the person selected works to bring youth to a saving knowledge of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The youth work of the local church is placed upon the shoulders of the director. This means that many hours must be given to planning, outreach, and encouraging the youth. The youth director should plan to give at least five hours per week in preparation for the youth service, follow up of students, and teaching the youth.
DUTIES OF THE YOUTH DIRECTOR
1. Plan and carry out youth activities.
2. Earnestly pray for the youth.
3. Be energetic and exciting.
4. Plan and carry out youth services to reach them on their own level.
5. Report all activities, programs, and results of outreach to the pastor.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE YOUTH DIRECTOR
1. The Youth Director must be faithful to Church.
2. He must be willing to give time for the effort.
3. The love of the youth must be in his heart.
4. He must be loyal to the Church and pastor.
USHERS – Ushers minister to every individual who enters the church and worships. They watch for those in need of hospitality, directions to a particular room, or physical assistance in climbing stairs, as well as help in finding seating. They greet worshipers and make every attempt to help them feel welcome and at ease. It is important to have someone to escort members and guests to their seats, especially if the church building is crowded. Tracts, song books, bulletins, and other materials may be passed out by the usher. The Ushers help receive the offering and deliver it to the Secretary treasurer. Ushers must have a good and patient spirit. Kindness is of importance. The ministry of ushering is one of the most crucial because it is one of the most visible in the church.
CHOIR DIRECTOR – The Choir Director and Choir always proves to be a blessing to the services. This work involves knowledge of music, dedication and patience. Choir members can be contrary and not appear at the practice sessions. Others may quit the choir because it involves too much time. For these reasons, the Choir Director must have a right attitude towards people and overlook their failures. Since the Choir Director is a leader in the service, standards of holiness must be met. The qualifications of a Choir Director are:
1. To be faithful in every way.
2. A person who dresses with a high standard.
5. Have a knowledge of music.
OTHER POSITIONS – Every church should have a list of qualifications of persons who will be recognized as officers, deacons and board members of the church. A sample list is as follows:
The persons who serve as officers, deacons, board members and those who assist in public worship are:
1. to be faithful in every way.
2. to support the church with tithe and offerings.
3. to follow the holiness standards of the church.
4. to have obeyed the four essentials of salvation.
5. to have received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking with new tongues.
THE CHOIR – The choir can be a blessing to every service or it can be a source of contention. All choir members should be informed that to join the choir they must give their promise to observe true holiness standards. All of the choir members will be before the congregation and must serve as an example to them. A member who does not hold up the standard and does not maintain a Christian life must be removed from the choir. This can cause other family members to rebel and it is possible that the church will lose the entire family.
CHURCH MUSICIANS – Church musicians who live a good Christian life and hold up the standards of the Church should be given special honor. At times, a musician will fall away from the Lord. He should be taken from participation in the Church services and forced to sit in the congregation. Since he is before the congregation, he must always be an example for other church members to follow.
DEVELOPING MUSICIANS – A new church congregation may not have anyone to play musical instruments. If this is so, a pastor should take into consideration the training of the youth of the church to play instruments. A young person can learn to play in a short time. It is important to make instruments available to them as funds are provided. The musicians should practice together in order to have excellent music.
CLEANLINESS OF THE CHURCH FACILITIES – Nothing is more disgusting than to see the outside and inside of the Church without proper maintenance. Even churches that have a floor of earth can be clean and neat. If possible, the outside of the Church should be surrounded by plants. The inside should not have paper thrown around on the floor and things piled up on the platform. Dogs should not be allowed to enter the Church building, especially while the service is going on. The odor and actions of a dog can be offensive.
CHURCH FINANCES – Money can be the root of trouble in the Church. For this reason, records must be kept of all transactions that involve church funds. All funds of the Church must be protected and used only for the church. Tithe is always for the support of the pastor and anything he chooses to do with the money is up to his discretion. The members are never to consider the tithe to be for the local assembly. Building funds, special offerings, missions offerings, etc. must be used for the purposes indicated or the money must be returned to the donor. Accurate records must be kept and a report of all transactions should be reported during the annual business meetings. Receipts and letters of thank you should be given to all donors the first week of January.
THE ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING – The annual business meeting should be conducted as near to the first of the year as possible. Reports should be prepared by each department of the Church. Along with the reports of the years progress, financial reports should be read. A pastor may or may not choose to reveal the amount of tithes that came into the Church. This is up to the discretion of the pastor as he is in charge of the tithes. All business meetings should be announced ten days and three services in advance of the meeting. This is to insure that all members are knowledgeable about the date of the meeting. Most decisions should be made in advance of the meeting to keep contention down concerning future or past development of the church. It is not
necessary to vote on the pastor each year. This is a non-biblical approach to proving the worthiness of the pastor to continue in a
MAJOR DECISIONS – All major decisions concerning financial out-lay of Church monies should be taken up with the men of the Church. They should be presented with the whole picture and then be allowed to participate in decision making. In the early stages of the development of a local Church, it is too small and the members are not usually established enough to help make decisions. The pastor must make all of the decisions when this condition exists..
CLASS SESSION 11
BUILDING A CHURCH – The first decision is to decide where to build the Church building. Available money should be taken into consideration. When a Church is small, it is not necessary to buy a very large piece of property, nor build a large building. A building three meters by ten mesas is good for fifty persons if the benches are placed properly. After the initial purchase of the land is made, then it is time to proceed with construction of a building. This can be done little by little as money permits. In the rural areas church buildings can be built of native materials at a low cost Many of the members will donate something from their land to build the Church. A Church of cement blocks is easy to build. Each week all of the funds raised for the purpose will be brought to the Church secretary-treasurer. The funds will then be available to purchase all of the blocks and cement that the money will buy. During the week the men of the church place the blocks in position. When Sunday comes the members see where their building money is going. This encourages them to give more money for the purpose of construction. Figure up the amount a money a block costs and inform the members when they give that much money, it will purchase one block. You can finish your Church block-by-block.
LAND TITLES – Land titles have not been very important to some congregations who have constructed Churches. As a result of this, Church buildings and land have been lost to unscrupulous persons. Also land that is donated must be carefully reviewed as to the legality of the land being donated. In some cases, donated land reverts back to the family after ten years. Be careful how you spend God’s money.
RELATIONSHIP WITH NEIGHBORING PASTORS – A good relationship with neighboring pastors is important to the unity of the Church. Stealing members from another Jesus name congregation is prohibited by God’s Word. Taking members from another congregation is not Church growth. It is merely trading the members around like cattle. Some unscrupulous pastors tempt the members of other Jesus name congregations by offering them positions of honor in the local Church. Beware of sheep stealing because whatsoever you sow, that shall you also reap. Keep a good relationship with your neighboring pastor and pray for him often.
SPECIAL ‘SERVICES – There are several different types of special services that a minister and pastor must be acquainted with that involve special occasions. The minister will be called on to conduct weddings, funerals, baptisms, dedications and other special services. These services involve special preparations.
WEDDINGS – One of the most important times in any two people’s lives is when they enter into holy matrimony. Marriage is to be a lasting relationship and should not be entered into lightly. This is the reason that every couple should receive some premarital counseling. The couple should be required to receive counseling from the minister for several weeks before the marriage is performed. One hour sessions involving instructions on how to get along with each other, etc. should be conducted with both parties present. It is best to make sure that everything is legal and proper before the marriage ceremony. The minister should be allowed to see the marriage license. Also, the minister should have personal convictions regarding the qualifications essential to a Christian marriage and he should live up to his principles. People usually respect the minister who stands by his convictions in such matters. If the couple does not measure up to the qualifications under God and the law to be married, the minister has every right to refuse to join the couple in holy matrimony. A minister would never marry a believer to an unbeliever. He can join two believers or two unbelievers without problems with the Bible.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MARRY PEOPLE – The minister must make sure he is authorized to perform a marriage ceremony in his country. In some nations only officials of the government can do so. In some places only ordained ministers may sign the license. Each minister should ascertain the specific procedures and provisions in his or her own country. Anyone who solemnizes a marriage stands liable to the law if he is not legally qualified. Bible students, lay preachers or men aspiring to the ministry should not perform the service of marriage.
KEEP ADEQUATE RECORDS – A minister should keep good and adequate records for all purposes. If for any reason a future question were to develop regarding a marriage, he should have a secure record of his having signed the certificate and sent it to the appropriate office. All marriages require witnesses. When a marriage is conducted, the minister must require that the witnesses be in attendance and see that they sign the license (if necessary). This may vary from country to country.
ORDER OF THE CEREMONY – There are no set rules for a marriage ceremony. The only basic procedural rule is that the man stands at the woman’s right hand. Each minister has the prerogative of exercising his own choice concerning the form of solemnizing the marriage. In some nations a rigid form is to be followed and in others a worship service is conducted and the ceremony concludes the service. The customs and traditions of the country may be followed if they are not contrary to the Bible.
Many things that are used to make ceremonies beautiful are harmless to our stand for God and are not against Christian principles. In most cases, the minister should seek to please the bride. The minister should be well prepared so as to minimize any mistakes or embarrassment and so that the couple can have sweet memories of the event. He should be comfortable and relaxed. This will be reflected in the wedding party and the proceedings.
FUNERALS – The funeral is one of the more perplexing duties of the minister. The moment merits the best personal and professional attention from the man of God. This sacred opportunity brings an opportunity for service. Perhaps next in importance to preaching the Word of God is the responsibility of the funeral. The death of a loved one causes a person to go through grief There is shock, panic, weeping, depression, anger, guilt and physical distress. These emotions require the minister to come to the rescue of the persons effected. It is here that the true minister uses skill and service in aiding the bereaved heart.
THE PASTOR USUALLY TAKES CHARGE – Generally the pastor takes charge of the funeral. It is not good for him to volunteer his services until he is asked. Perhaps the family is endeared to another minister of past acquaintance and they will desire him to officiate at the funeral. This should never offend the pastor. Make your presence known and leave it up to the family to talk to you about your participation. When asked to participate, be sure to note the exact time, place and what your part will be in the ceremony.
DEATH IN A MEMBERS HOME – When death is approaching in a home of the local church members, the pastor should be informed and keep close contact. It is embarrassing to be informed of a member’s sickness and fail to visit the person before death happens. Lingering sickness requires the minister to visit many times and as death approaches the pastor should visit more frequently.
CONTACT THE FAMILY IMMEDIATELY – The pastor should immediately contact the family upon notification of a death and be with them for consolation and consultation. This is very important to all concerned and must not be neglected. The time between the death and the funeral the minister should make two or three visits to the home where he can be of service to those in need. This thoughtfulness will never be forgotten by those that were left behind.
FOLLOW BURIAL CUSTOMS – Personal input and appropriate material about the deceased are more important than the sermon thought and general remarks. The minister should be relaxed and should aim for perfection in all details of the funeral service. The funeral and burial customs very from country to country. It is best to follow the customs that are set forth in the individual country if they do not bring reproach to the church and the Lord Jesus Christ.
LACK OF MONEY TO BURY THE DEAD – One of the saddest problems is when a church member does not have enough money to bury their dead. If this is the case, the pastor and members should assist in raising the funds for the burial. This can work a great hardship on the pastor and members, but it is their obligation. Prayer will open the door for the funds to be raised.
BABY DEDICATIONS – Baby dedication is not the same as baptism. The Bible does not teach that babies and young children should be baptized. Baptism is for those who are old enough to repent and understand what is happening to them. A good rule to follow is when the Lord fills a young child with the Holy Ghost, then the pastor should baptize him. A baby dedication does not have anything to do with the salvation of the child.
ORDER OF THE BABY DEDICATION – Baby dedications very from country to country. The usual custom of reading several Scriptures, calling the parents forward with the child, and praying over the child is acceptable anywhere in the world. Any other customs and traditions can be accepted as long as they do not offend the Bible and Jesus Christ.
DEDICATION OF A CHURCH BUILDING – After a church building is completed, it is proper to set it apart for its appointed purpose through a church dedication. This is a special service where many visitors come from neighboring churches. A church dedication can be done in a short time or several days can be set aside for the purpose. The people of God usually work hard to build a building and they expect the dedication to be a time of recognition for their hard work.
BIBLICAL DEDICATIONS OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD – The Tabernacle, Solomon’s Temple, Zerubbabel’s Temple and the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah were dedicated to the Lord on special occasions. The dedication of the Tabernacle, though not presented in detail, is mentioned in Numbers 7:1-11. When we read the account of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, however, we find a well ordered program in keeping with the magnificence and importance of this sacred edifice. Dedication day is very important in the life of a church family. From the planning stage to the finishing of the structure, emotions will be high. The pastor should recognize each participant in the construction process without overlooking anyone. The greatest mistake a pastor could make would be to overlook mentioning the name or names of people who had a part in the construction. Some members have lived with disappointment for the rest of their lives because a pastor failed to mention their sacrifice for the building at the dedication.
CLASS SESSION 12
BAPTISM – The baptismal service is a sacred event. Baptism is to be done by immersion in water. The person baptizing must make sure that the person is entirely submerged in water. The Greek word “baptizo”, both in scripture and in classical Greek, signifies to dip, to plunge and to immerse. It is evident that immersion is the method of true baptism because Jesus himself was baptized by immersion. He is our supreme example.
INSTRUCT THE CANDIDATE – Each candidate for baptism should be instructed concerning the meaning of baptism and the prerequisites to it before administering the ordinance. A person must put their faith in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins before baptism. A person should know why he is being baptized or perhaps the baptism will not be effective.
ORDER OF THE BAPTISMAL SERVICE – Baptisms are to be accomplished in water. It makes no difference where the water is located, nor how clean the water. Water in a river, a swimming pool, a tank and baptisteries is equally acceptable for the baptizing of a believer. Prior to baptisms, the minister may quote some passage of scripture and someone may sing a special song. It is of utmost importance to make the ceremony sacred. A prayer should be prayed over the candidate before baptism.
BAPTISMAL FORMULA – The formula for baptism may be given in several ways, but the name of Jesus is required to be used for Bible salvation. The following is an example: ‘7 now baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. ”
METHOD OF BAPTISM – The one baptizing should enter into the water with the candidate. He should then ask the candidate to place their hand over their nose and mouth. The one baptizing should then place one hand over the candidates hand and the other at the base of their skull. It will then be easy to bring the candidate backwards to be immersed and to be brought back up again.
THE AWAKENING OF THE CHURCH – The awakening of the Church has long been pictured by revivalists. Evangelists and pastors of the past generations have spoken of revival in the future tense. “Revival is coming,” they have said, “It will be upon us sooner than we expect.” Revival has been evasive, yet, sporadic outpourings of the Spirit of God have been realized through the years. The measure of revival in the past is like a grain of sand on the beaches of the great awakening. The revivalists of the end-time who walk in the Spirit are now declaring the message, “Revival is now here. The great awakening is now in the beginning stages.”
THE TORCH OF TRUTH WILL LIGHT THE PATH FOR THE CHURCH During the time of Jesus Christ, the customs concerning marriage were very different than today. The bridegroom waited in his home until the appointed hour when he would meet his bride. The bride waited in her home because she was aware of the approximate time of the coming of the bridegroom to take her away. The bride knew the bridegroom was coming and that she had to be prepared to go with him. The bridal party waited with the bride until the midnight hour. Since it was dark at that time, it was necessary for the bridal party to prepare lamps to light their path before them. The lamps in those days were actually torches. The torches held only a small amount of oil and it needed to be replenished often or they would go out. A vessel had to be carried for the constant needs of the lamp. At midnight, a cry would go forth: “Behold the bridegroom cometh, ye yea meet him.” This was an indication for the bridal party to go out to meet the bridegroom. The Bible says that all ten of the virgins awoke at the midnight cry. They trimmed their lamps. This means they cut off the burned portion of the wick, cleaned their lamps, and replenished the oil. A time of preparation passed as they trimmed their lamps. Five of the virgins of Matthew 25 did not carry enough extra oil in their vessels and because the journey was long their lamps did not continue to burn. Five of them met the bridegroom and entered into the bride-chamber with him. Oil must be kept in a Christian’s vessel along with fire in their lamp. This fire must be kept burning because it is the only way to see during the darkest hour ever known.
REVIVAL WILL COME WITH HOLY GHOST POWER – Locked in the heart of every minister is the desire to have Holy Ghost power in! their lives. This is possible to have in the lives of those who believe. Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” The minister who realizes the potential power in Jesus Christ can do exploits in the name of Jesus. The sick and afflicted can be healed. Blind eyes can be opened and the deaf can hear.
FIVE KEYS TO HAVING HOLY GHOST POWER
1. Prayer and fasting – Prayer and fasting brings atomic power from God. They are the keys to reaching the heart of God. Walls of unbelief fall flat as the walls of Jericho did for the children of Israel when prayer and fasting are united. Holy Ghost power may be obtained in unlimited measures, but those who desire the power must make the sacrifice to go without food and bow their knees to the giver of power.
2. Faith and trust in God – Faith and trust in God are imperative when Holy Ghost power is desired. Prayer for the sick and suffering must be backed up by faith and trust. Faith is the action of believing God. Trust is knowing that He will do what you believe that he can do.
3. Clean Godly life – The Bible says that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. A clean Godly life catches the attention of God. A person can pray and fast, believe and trust, but Holy Ghost power will not be bestowed upon a sinner or hypocrite. The Bible says that the Holy Ghost will not dwell in an unclean temple. God cannot give His power to someone who walks in sin and does not hold up Christian standards. If he gave Holy Ghost power to a sinner or hypocrite it would mean that He sanctions what they are doing. He will not do this.
4. Be willing to be used by God – A vessel that is yielded to God can be used of God. This means to obey the Bible. Give your total being to God and His work. When God calls, a person must be willing to go anywhere and do whatever He demands. God will speak to a willing heart and reveal what He desires. A person who is not willing to fully obey God will be set aside and another person will be called to do God’s bidding. Ministers who are not willing to be used of God have very little need for Holy Ghost power. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN HOLY GHOST POWER IS PRESENT?
1. Christians and sinners alike will fall on their knees to pray – This means that people will be saved from going to Hell. Every minister needs Holy Ghost power to enable him to reach souls with the Gospel. This can be done through total obedience. 2. Christians and sinners will be changed by the power of God – The presence of Holy Ghost power brings about change in people. Just being around someone who is filled with power causes others to draw closer to God.
3. Christians will be encouraged – The presence of Holy Ghost power causes the discouraged Christian to come alive to the things of God. Encouragement is brought about by contact with the supernatural power of a living God.
4. Demons will be cast out – Demons cannot stand in the presence of Holy Ghost power. “Greater is he that is within you than he that is in the world.”
5. People will be baptized – Baptismal waters will be used often when Holy Ghost power is present. Conversions can take place on a daily basis.
6. People will receive the Holy Ghost – A dead dry ministry will not produce Holy Ghost results. When Holy Ghost power is present many receive the Holy Ghost experience. You should examine yourself if this is not happening in your ministry.
7. Healing and miracles will take place – God’s power may be used against sickness, disease, and afflictions.. An empowered person can use this power at any time. The lame walk, the blind see and cancers disappear through Holy Ghost power.
CASTING OUT DEMONS – God gives His people power over demons. It falls the duty of the minister to take power over demons and cast them out. The wisdom of God is to be used in casting out devils or it can effect a church in a bad manner. Sometimes it is difficult to discern whether or not a person is demon possessed and other times it is obvious. Actions, words, and facial expressions of the flesh can be mistaken for signs of demon possession. Before a minister begins to cast out demons, he must determine whether the person is demon possessed or just acting strange. It is not wise to attempt to cast out devils when a person is not truly possessed by demons. This can cause the members and the community to lose confidence in the Church.
BINDING DEMONS – Demons are not to be feared. The Bible says “Perfect love casts out all fear.” The minister should have sufficient power with God to overcome the powers of evil that possess others. The first thing a minister must do to begin casting out demons is to bind the demons. This is very important. This cannot be stressed enough. Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever ye loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” A demon who is cast out without being bound is free to immediately possess another person. Demons who are bound cannot enter into other persons present at the time they are cast out. If they are bound, they must go through dry places before they are allowed to come back to the house in which they came out. Demons which are cast out without being bound will go into the nearest person who has deep sin in their lives. Beware! Bind the demons before you cast them out.
HEALING IS FOR THE CHURCH TODAY – End-time revival will bring more power for the healing of the body. It is important for the minister of the Lord to preach healing of the body. In the modern day Church the emphasis is placed on worship, tongues, holiness and baptism. Healing for the body and spirit has long been put aside by many. It is considered to be sort of an extra – a gift that is tossed in as an extra by a compassionate God. Further study reveals the healing power of God is still accomplished by God’s eternal Spirit today. Isaiah 53 states, “by his stripes we were healed.” This means both physical and spiritual healing.
FINAL REMARKS – We are now living in the end-time. The ministry is needed to awaken the Church and prepare it for the soon coming of Jesus Christ. The training you have received during this course of study should enable you to do God’s work. This. course covers only the basics. You will learn more in the future as you practice the things you have learned in the past. Step into the will of God. When God calls, we must answer.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY JOHN L. WILLHOITE, 1995, PAGES 1-48.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.