Christians we never reach the point where we are completely satisfied
with the accomplishments of the past. However, when the whole
congregation is working together as it should, we can feel that we are
making much progress. Many times a congregation realizes that it is not
accomplishing nearly so much as it is capable of doing. Eight times out
of ten the preacher is blamed for the lack of progress. (And sometimes
it is his fault). Elders and members often think that the best thing to
do in such a case is to "fire" the preacher. I will agree with them that
such should be done. "How should it be done?" It is the purpose of this
article to point out how to "fire" your preacher. But when I use the
term "fire," I do not mean "to get rid of." Many times the need is to
"fire" the preacher INSTEAD of getting rid of him.
"Fire" him with new zeal
and determination to do more for the cause of Christ. Engender within
him the desire to work harder and more profitably in the saving of
souls. How can this be done?
The first thing I suggest is this: "Sit in the preacher's place." Look
at the work from the preacher's point of view. Try to realize the great
and solemn charge that is given him. "Preach the word"
Remember that if he should fail to warn the wicked of his way, his blood
would be required,
3:18. Or should he
fail to warn a righteous man who turns to iniquity, it would also be
understanding these principles, you can see why it is necessary that a
preacher teach on certain things. Too many times all of us (preachers
included) look at things only from our own point of view. Each of us
needs to sit in the other fellow's place and see things as he sees them.
In the words of Ezekiel, "I sat where they sat." By applying this
principle in the work of the church, we can understand and appreciate
one anther's place and work in life. So, look at the Lord's work from
the preacher's viewpoint. It will help you to "fire" him.
When a preacher teaches something that is false or when he is failing to
preach the whole counsel of God, he certainly should be corrected by the
church. Firm discipline should be applied. On the other hand, when he is
preaching the gospel, the church should stand squarely behind him,
giving him all the help and encouragement possible. This is sure to help
and "fire" him with more zeal and determination. You can show that you
are backing him by bringing your friends and neighbors to hear the
gospel proclaimed. The church member who never brings others to hear the
gospel preached is hindering the cause. However, this person is not
hindering the cause so much as the one who apologizes to the visitors
for the truth's being preached. When a preacher tells his audience what
the Bible teaches, you should never be guilty of saying, "I don't think
he should have preached that." Remember, anything other than the truth
is error; the person who does not obey the truth is lost. So, "fire"
your preacher by standing firmly behind him.
Another sure way to "fire" your preacher is to do personal work teaching
yourselves. To see members of the church doing personal work is one of
the most encouraging things there is to the preacher. Also, why not
invite the preacher into your home to talk with your friends about the
Bible? You can "fire" the preacher immensely by introducing him to
people who are capable of being taught the gospel. We often hear it said
that comparatively few will hear the gospel today. The preacher works
hard preparing lessons to present, yet but few attend. Many times this
is the fault of the congregation instead of the preacher. Yes, you can
fire" him by doing personal work.
One of the most discouraging sights to any gospel preacher is to see
members of the church indifferent in regard to spiritual things. These
brethren are not interested in the church's growth. They care so little
for the services that they seldom attend. They become worldly minded and
sinful. Elders and faithful members can often do more to wake up and
restore such members than the preacher can do. You can help "fire" your
preacher by waking up the church.
The Scriptures teach plainly in regard to the preacher's right to
material support. "What soldier ever serves at his own charges? Who
planteth a vineyard, and eateth not the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a
flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?"
Cor. 9:7). "Even
so did the Lord ordain that they that proclaim the gospel should live of
Cor. 9:14). As
suggested at the beginning of the article, you need to sit in the
preacher's place. By doing so you will see what his financial needs are.
Then, make sure that he has them. Brethren, it will "fire" the preacher
when you pay him. After all, the important thing is cooperation between
the church and preacher. Preachers, do your part by preaching the word.
Brethren, cooperate with the preacher in every way possible. Pray for
him. Instead of "getting rid of" your preacher, why not "fire" him?
Articles by Forrest D. Moyer
The Nature of the church of Christ
Grace and Righteousness
Various Thoughts on the Church
That Piece of Clay