This week's Expositor's Quote is from R.B. Kuiper, a teacher of theology who died in 1966:
He who holds the ministerial office is beset by certain perils that are properly described as peculiar for the reason that they spring from the special dignity and the great usefulness of the office. . . .
Many a minister . . . has forgotten that he is a man of like passions with others and has become pretentious and pompous. . . . A man gifted with a considerable measure of good sense once said of his two brothers, both of whom were pastors: "One of my brothers has entered the ministry, the other has remained a human being." . . .
Many a minister assumes a domineering attitude and presumes to lord it over God's heritage. . . . Often the minister regards himself as the commander-in-chief of his church. He insists that his word be honored as law, hardly less binding than the laws of the ancient Medes and Persians. . . .
Because his duties are manifold, there is great danger that the minister will fail to put first things first; that he will "spread himself thin," . . . that he will attempt to do so many things that he does nothing well. Perhaps he will be an administrator rather than a teacher. The finances of the church may interest him more than do the spiritual riches of the Word of God. The numerical growth of the church may concern him more than does its spiritual growth. Instead of concentrating on the central task of the ministry, teaching the Word of God, he may make the erection of a new church edifice his chief ambition. He may even turn into the proverbial "jack of all trades," comprising chauffeur, messenger boy and assistant housekeeper. Because he tries to do too much, he may accomplish next to nothing.
How can these perils be avoided? The answer is simple. The minister must always remember that the dignity of his office adheres not in his person but in his office itself. He is not at all important, but his office is extremely important. Therefore he should take his work most seriously without taking himself seriously. He should preach the Word in season and out of season in forgetfulness of self. He should ever have an eye single to the glory of Christ, whom he preaches, and count himself out. It should be his constant aim that Christ, whom he represents, may increase while he himself decreases. Remembering that minister means nothing but servant, he should humbly, yet passionately, serve the Lord Christ and His church. The words of the apostle Paul should be his very own: "Whose I am and whom I serve" (Acts 27:28).
Such a minister is sure to enhance the glory of Christ's church.
R.B. Kuiper, The Glorious Body of Christ (Banner of Truth, 1966), p. 140-42.
[You and I are not at all important - but our calling, our task is all important. May we take ourselves not at all seriously even while we take our work very seriously, so that Christ's church may be glorified, to the praise of the glory of His grace - Coty]
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