What Brought You Here?
On Sunday, church buildings across our nation filled up with people gathering together for different reasons.
For some, it was the social interaction. For some, it was to check the “go to church” box off a checklist.
For some, it was because someone made them. For some, it was a habit. For some, it was to see the visiting preacher. For some, it was the dinner following services. For some, it was the singing.
For some, it was a search for something that is missing. For some, it was a desire to worship God in spirit and truth. For some, it was to feel good. For some, it was to look good. For some, it was good business.
For some, it was to surprise a loved one. For some, it was to hear the band. For some, it was to catch up on the latest gossip. For some, it was to make things right with God. For some, it was to take their children.
For some, it was to take their grandchildren. For some, it was to ask for help. For some, it was to see if others needed help. For some, it was because their name was down to perform a duty. Some had nothing better to do. For some, it was to find problems so they could make excuses not to come the next Sunday.
For some, it was a feeling of guilt. For some, it was because a religious leader wanted extra funds for the collection. Some were looking for a church home.
“Why come?” is a valid question. In today’s world, few people realize that God spends as much time asking why we go to church as He does asking if we go to church. Why? God wants our hearts and minds to come together in holy worship to Him. He wants our lives to benefit from the teachings found in His Word. He wants us to be edified while at the same time edifying those around us. We should examine our motives to make sure they are pure in God’s sight. Only then will we truly gain the benefits of going to church! —Neal Pollard, Denver, Colorado
“Worship Him” (John 4:24).
Recipe for Successful Local Preaching
- Never get into the pulpit unprepared. This is unforgivable. We are not inspired—we have to study!
- Don’t forget the elderly. These are your firmest and most sincere backers. The elders listen to the elderly.
- Don’t preach too long.
- Suffer with people when they suffer.
- Organize the work, getting one or two things going. I mean really going.
- Never work or organize above the talent resources available.
- Try to have going constantly a class with at least one non-Christian. Don’t have too many at one time.
- Do not try to cover too much ground the first few weeks.
- Remember the grace of a sincere compliment—but don’t overdo it.—Wendell Winkler (deceased)
Dangers to Preachers
- Intellectual snobbery
- Neglect family
- Depending entirely on pulpit—A R. Holton, quoted by Paul Rogers Centerville, Tennessee (distributed by Wendell Winkler to his students)
Some Mistakes of Some Preachers
Preachers are not above making mistakes. Peter did (Matthew 26:69–75; Galatians 2:11–16). Judas was a preacher (Matthew 10:3–7, 16) and was lost (Acts 1:25; John 17:11–12).
Neglecting His Family. Some fail to love their wives as they should (Ephesians 5:22–32). Others get so busy trying to save others as to lose their own children (1 Samuel 2:12–17; 2:22–25; 3:11–13).
Become Overconfident. Those who feel they have arrived at success may cease to study, pray, and be personally devout (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Timothy 4:12–16). Some think their knowledge is complete when they graduate from college, but the Bible is full of material they know not (Acts 10:34–35). Preachers need to be full of knowledge but not of themselves (Colossians 1:5–12). They are not to neglect their “gift” or talents (2 Timothy 1:6).
Too Much of Other Things and Too Little of Preaching and Teaching. Jesus ran with and taught the people (Luke 15:1; 5:30–32; cf. Ephesians 5:16; John 9:5).
Some Are Indiscrete with Ladies. Indiscrete women tempt them to go astray (1 Thessalonians 5:22; Matthew 5:27–30). Men should treat all women as mothers and sisters (1 Timothy 5:1–2). They should not be prudish but give no grounds for suspicion.
Showing Partiality (1 Timothy 5:21). This makes people envious and feel that he is “not fair.” The preacher should go where he can do the most good and not worry about what men think. Don’t be partial to wealthy, leaders, or educated (James 2:8–9; 2:1–9). Don’t be against them either. Don’t array elders against each other. Run with all the members—do good!
Some Live above Their Income. It is not wrong to receive reasonable wages (2 Corinthians 11:6–9; 1 Corinthians 9:11; John 4:35–38), but the preacher should live within his income. That installment plan can lead to a downfall. Don’t just seek best-paying place—yet demand enough.
A Failure to Properly File Study Material, to Keep and Use It. We are not inspired like the apostles. Do not lend books and material to anyone. Keep properly filed illustrations and lists of prospects, what to do and when. Be punctual—God’s work comes first (Matthew 6:33). —Gus Nichols (January 18, 1963)
“Be ready in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2).