I have been greatly blessed by the pastors at our church, I didn’t intentionally choose such a good church but by God’s grace I found myself in a church community that has made a deep and profound difference to my Christian life.
I felt inspired the other day to write about the marks of a godly preacher in the hopes that it would be a benefit to others and enable them to choose a good church that they too will flourish in.
The mark of a godly preacher is...humility
Being a pastor is a little like being a celebrity and thus it would be easy to become proud but the pastors we have at our church are constantly showing humility.
They apply the Bible passages to themselves, mentioning times they have failed, and shining the light not on themselves and what great orators they are but on the bible and on how amazing God is.
When they give a sermon they give it to ‘us’ not to ‘you’ and they mention how ‘we’ need to improve in a particular area not how ‘you’ need to.The apostle Paul talks about how our humility should emulate that of Jesus in Philippians Chapter 2 verses 5-8.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
The mark of a godly preacher is...not shying away from the hard passages
We have three pastors at our church and sometimes when we’re going through a series on a particular book of the Bible and a tricky passage is coming up they may joke that they’re pleased they can leave it for one of the others.
However, they never skip a passage because it is difficult – because it mentions Hell, or suffering, or a controversial issue. These are all parts of God’s inspired and living word and to skip over them does a disservice to God.
God’s word sits over us all and the world in general and so it is sinful to try and smooth down the rough edges of God’s word to appease society. Jesus himself did not aspire to win popularity contests by only saying things that people would like.
This is not to say that you should be purposely offensive or insensitive but some people will refuse to speak the truth just becauseof the mere fact that it is not what they like or agree with or itoffends them.
A godly preacher cares more about what God thinks and the spiritual well-being of his congregation than whether or not society agrees with or likes him. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 18, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The mark of a godly preacher is...living it out day to day
The godly preacher does not have a public church life and a private family life.The godly preacher opens his home and his family to his congregation.
This is not to say preachers are not allowed privacy but agodly preacher is not a stranger to his congregation.His life at church should mirror his life at home, he should act the same regardless of where or who he is with.
He should be prepared to host people in his home and to hold bible studies or other church groups in his home. He should get to know the families in his congregation personally and they should get to know him and his family.
Our pastors do an excellent job of this.They are forever hosting groups and inviting people round or joining in with other events in people’s lives. They truly care about everyone at church, it is not just a 9-5 job for them where they discharge their duty and collect their pay-check.
Peter spurs on preachers to live like this in 1 Peter chapter 5, verses 1-4,
“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
Humility, courage, and authenticity – these are the marks of a godly preacher. I have been extremely blessed to have experienced this, week in and week out, and I pray you will too.
Jessica McPherson lives with her best friend and husband, Eoin and their family of rescue animals in Christchurch. She loves reading, writing, photography and scrapbooking but most of all sharing God’s love and truth with a hurting world. Jessica is particularly passionate about encouraging children and building them up in gospel truth.