A. The Foundational or Central Axiom
As a general rule, sustained effectiveness in pastoral ministry will be realized in direct proportion to the health and vigor of the redeemed humanity of the man of God.
Note: I did not say just the spiritual health and vigor, nor just the intellectual or physical, but the whole redeemed humanity.
B. An Explanation of and the Scriptural Support for this Axiom
1. The significance of the words “sustained effectiveness”
1 Cor. 3:5-7
2. The significance of the words “as a general rule”
1 Kings 19:1ff
3. The Scriptures everywhere assert that there should be no disparity between the man of God as a thoroughgoing Christian man and the man of God and his pastoral labors.
1 Tim. 4:12
1 Tim. 3:2
4. The Scriptures set forth a cause and effect relationship between what a servant of God is as a man and what he accomplishes as a minister of the Word.
1 Thess. 1:2-5
1 Thess. 2:10-12
1 Tim. 4:16
1 Tim 5:22
5. In the light of these things it is clear that the fundamental responsibility of the man of God is the conscious nurture of the totality of his redeemed humanity.
1 Tim. 4:16
C. H. Spurgeon, “The Minister’s Self-Watch,” in Lectures to My Students (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1990), book I, pp. 1-3.