4. Preach pastorally.
Paul tells Timothy to “rebuke, correct and encourage with great patience and teaching.” That’s a picture of preaching pastorally. It means we’re not simply conference speakers standing on a stage and leaving after the event.
We live among our people, we guide them, direct them, encourage them, rebuke them, correct them, all with patience and biblical teaching.
To preach pastorally means to preach incarnationally. When we love the people we lead, they will listen to what we preach.
Love them well. Tell them what God’s word says. Show them the way. And show them where to turn when they go astray.
A faithful preacher preaches pastorally.
5. Don’t depend on your flock for encouragement.
Paul tells Timothy that people will abandon sound teaching and go to people who will simply tell them what they want to hear.
Scripture is a double-edged sword. When it is wielded, it cuts deep. There will be people who don’t appreciate the precision. They’ll run from it and go to the latest prosperity-you-can-you-will “preacher.”
So it’s a dangerous game to depend on the flock we pastor for encouragement. That game goes both ways. If we lean on them for encouragement, we’ll fall flat when we receive discouragement.
But the better way is to lean on God for our encouragement. To constantly remind ourselves of our calling and to constantly preach the gospel to ourselves.
We don’t preach for people’s approval. We preach because God has called us to be His heralds.
When you receive encouragement from people, receive it. But don’t lean on it.
6. Keep going.
I love this: “But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
One more step.
One more moment.
One more day.
One more sermon.
Fulfill your ministry. Keep plodding. God’s not done with you yet.
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.
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