The Work of the Pastor

Some honest stuff here. So much so that those who expect a veneer of piety over all things ministerial may be shocked...

"Prayer, example and precept, in that order, are the means of bringing up children and young folk in the faith (56)."

On visiting
"Happy is the minister who has trained his congregation not to expect to see him unless there is particular need, and who, when there is need, don't try to keep him in the dark as long as possible so that they may ostentatiously reproach him when he does find out.... If Christ has given you a love for people... then the fact of it is the important thing, not the showing off of it.... Far better that someone should ask for a word of prayer or a reading than that one should leave a trail of forced readings and prayers in a number of homes where it was not convenient.... I am never put out, although some who ask me hope that I may [be], by being asked to pray in a home. 'We had to ask him to pray; he doesn't know the first thing about his job!' In such a home they get a poor prayer. Who could pray in that atmosphere? I daren't pray what I think, which is, 'Lord, would you deal with this self-righteous lot who love to take the minister down a peg by showing how pious they are.'" (51, 53-54)

On hiding sin behind that pious veneer
"The more you gave yourself airs, the more sure I was that you were a fraud.... [In the church] the only sin is to hide your wounds from the doctor and nurse. And the true pastor's job is to strip all the fearful ones, however gently, patiently, faithfully, and all the hypocritical ones of their camouflage and cloaks" (53-54).
"A soul is never so much in private with God as when sitting in church being sifted, searched, corrected, fed and nourished by the ministry of the Word" (58).

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