Make Full Proof of thy Ministry by
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry (2Timothy 4:5)
An encouragement and a warning to a young preacher/pastor, don't get preoccupied cursing the darkness; rather, be busy shining the light. How often a man's ministry is hindered by distractions. This must be, as I consider my own history at times, Satan's number one tool. If our foot is not threatened by the prosperity of the wicked, then it is the apathy of the saints that puts us in danger of slippage. Here the temptation is for Timothy to be halted by the refusal of church folk to hear what is sound and true.
And isn't it more than not that young preachers fail to heed this warning, even the scriptures, that the called to ministry comes with severe testing. The preacher/pastor is in the people business, and people will drive you crazy unless you stay focused. And I've been there; I was so angry and for whatever reason, I mentioned to my very own Pastor that I was going to manhandle this fellow, but in wisdom he said to me, "Don't be distracted." And that is what Paul is telling this young preacher, "You have a calling from God and don't turn to the left or right glaring and staring at preachers who won't preach, deacons who won't serve, and saints who act like "aints". Instead prove to all that your call is an effectual calling from the almighty God. The apostle said to Timothy, if these will no longer hear you, and in fact turn against you, "Do the work of an evangelist"; go get you some more people. Don't talk about them; go get you some more people. Don't stare at them; go get you some more people. Don't fight them; go get you some more people. Do the work Timothy, do the work! Watch vigilantly and avoid some distractions. With determination endure painful distractions, but most of all keep working, thereby proving your ministry bears the mandate of heaven.
The preaching call is a burden that the truly called preacher must carry out at all cost. That burden is not to prove that he can compel or constrain any particular group of people, but that if he keeps on preaching and ignores the distractions all that God gave to him will come to him. I conclude with a word for the distracted from the old hymnologist, Charles Wesley:
A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
O may it all my powers engage
To do my Master's will!
Yuri Solomon holds degrees from Gospel Ministry Outreach Theological Institute and the College of Biblical Studies. He is author of the book Biblical Masculinity. More info @ www.wordtalkonline.org