as the only
eternal business must be our commitment."
Recently I read a series of quotes by great church leaders describing pastoral ministry through Christian history. Several quotes caught my eye and undergird timeless principles.
In the fourth century, John Chrysostom noted, “The minister’s shortcomings simply cannot be concealed. Even the most trivial soon gets known. However trifling the offense, these little things seem great to others, since everyone measures sin, not by the size of the offenses, but by the standing of the sinner.”
In the sixteenth century, John Calvin wrote, “Those whom the Lord has called for this great office, he previously provides the armor which is requisite for the discharge of it, that they may not come empty and unprepared.”
In the eighteenth century, Jonathan Edwards said, “I go out to preach with two propositions in mind. First, every person ought to give his life to Christ. Second, whether or not anyone else gives him his life, I will give him mine.”
The challenges of pastoral ministry are more than evident. Pastoral leaders who think keeping up with current trends is the sure-fire way of remaining effective will themselves be farther and farther out of step with the contemporary ministry of Christ, which is always redemptive. The character of Jesus in his holiness and integrity is our benchmark. Reliance on divine power as the only resource that can empower eternal business must be our commitment.
President Byron D. Klaus