Dear fellow preacher
When I was a boy, a teacher at my school once told us that lesser experienced hockey players liked playing with more experienced ones, so that they could improve their skills. That was over 50 years ago and I have yet to see the truth of what he said fail.
The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17, Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. The principle of one man helping another man to improve is as old as creation itself.
In the early years of my ministry, I made more crazy mistakes than what I’d care to admit – and some of them were very painful and costly mistakes. In more recent years, I’ve thought about how I could have improved my ministry-skills if only I had better applied the lesson of ‘iron sharpeneth iron’. (Perhaps I was too headstrong in my youth?)
At any rate, ALL preachers (young, old and in-between) should never stop getting themselves ‘sharpened’ and being available to help ‘sharpen’ others around them.
I sometimes wonder if Elisha ever wished Elijah were still around so that he could sit down with him and talk things over, and get sharpened again.
Thankfully, all us preachers can kneel daily before our Lord Jesus and ‘talk things over’ (something we don’t do enough of!). I strongly suggest we all get our ‘marching-orders’ directly from Jesus, then look around for some other preacher with a similar direction who is actually doing what we feel God is calling us to do, and then go and get ourselves ‘sharpened’.
Think about it; who do you know in the ministry that seems ‘sharper’ than you when it comes to Bible study, prayer, soul winning, preaching, and church building, to name a few? Why not INCLUDE them in your fellowship? Why not read their books, listen to their sermons, observe their ministry, or even ask them your questions? And if you find some good ‘iron’ in a webpage or a book, or a sermon, why not pass it on to another brother in the ministry so he also can get ‘sharpened’?
The truth is, ‘iron really DOES sharpen iron’, and God will use one man to sharpen another man’s countenance (and ministry!). You can even ask Jesus to show you where you can find some ‘iron’.
Stay in the game!
Your brother in Christ,
Steven J. White
I’d like to invite any Independent Baptist preacher (pastor, missionary, evangelist, or retired) to offer helpful advice, experiences and thoughts that will encourage others in the ministry. I want others to hear what you have to say. If this is of interest to you, please email me your thoughts or suggestions. None of us will get ‘paid’ for any of this, but all of us will get ‘sharpened’.