Here in Louisville, I teach 7th grade boys Sunday School. It’s a sanctifying process for both them and me. There are some guys in there that, honestly, stress me to the max. There are others though that, already, point to Christ in so many areas of their lives. I was blown away and convicted by one of them this weekend.
The student ministry held an event where guys could preach to their peers and other church members and receive feedback. One of my 7th graders accepted the challenge and preached his 12 year old heart out. It made me think of several things in regards to pastoral ministry and the future.
The first was that it was simply convicting and challenging. He preached out of 2 Timothy 2:
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!”
One thing he said was to look at the life of a soldier. If the soldier loses focus on the battle field, people die. If we, as leaders in the church, lose focus and get tangled by the world, people with die spiritually. Men, we’re going into battle. This thing isn’t to be taken lightly.
The second thing I thought about was the importance of raising up men in the church to carry forth the Word of God. Much too often, congregations are allowed to simply walk through the motions and are never raised up as leaders. Leaders are something you go pluck fresh from somewhere else. Is this what the New Testament did? Throughout the pastoral epistles Paul refers to Timothy as his “true child in the faith.” He reminds him of his mother and grandmother who raised him to love the Word. Paul also reminds him of when the elders laid hands on him. All these suggest that Timothy has been raised up to lead the church that he has now been entrusted. He wasn’t a graduate from Jerusalem Theological Baptist Seminary. We need to raise men up. I’m thankful that I’m a member of a church that is doing that.