C. You must earn and experience the increasing respect and confidence of your people.
A word of justification
A word of qualification
1. The biblical basis for this principle
The nature of the biblical requirements for the office of an elder
1 Tim. 3:1-7
1 Tim. 4:12, 15
Titus 2:7, 15
1 Pet. 5:3-5
2 Cor. 4:1-2
James Stalker, The Preacher and His Models (New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891), pp. 167-168.
John Brown, An Exposition of the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2001), pp. 204-205.
2. The areas of crucial concern with reference to this principle
Introduction: Selective criteria
Observation of men in the ministry
Exposure to proven guides who have written on this issue
The observation and reaction of the people of God
a. Ministerial laziness or sloth
1 Tim. 5:17
1 Cor. 9:6-14
1) In general
2 Thess. 3:6ff
1 Thess. 2:8-9
Ralph G. Turnbull, A Minister’s Obstacles (Westwood, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, ), p. 20.
2) In sermon preparation
Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, p. 71.
Ralph G. Turnbull, A Minister’s Obstacles (Westwood, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, ), pp. 22-23.
3) In necessary diaconal duties
1 Thess. 2:9
2 Thess. 3:8
1 Pet. 5:2
1 Tim. 6:9-11
1) Do not be a fashion hound.
2) Do not be addicted to new cars.
3) Do not agitate discussion about your salary and benefits.
4) Do not complain about your parsonage.
1 Sam. 12:1-5
5) Let the names of Achan, Gehazi, Judas, and Demas say to you, “Beware of covetousness.”
d. Sexual impurity
1) Its peculiar temptation for the preacher
a) Because you are the objects of peculiar Satanic attack
b) Because you are in a peculiar place of temptation
i) You have access to people at any time.
ii) You have access to the affections of people at the deepest level.
iii) You have access to the burdens and needs of people at the deepest level.
2) Means for avoiding and overcoming this temptation
a) Maintain vigorous spiritual health in general.
b) Maintain good marital relations with your wife in all areas.
1 Cor. 7:1-5
c) Maintain preventive disciplines.
1 Tim. 5:2
i) Do not go into a home when a woman is alone.
ii) Do not counsel alone if your study is at home.
iii) Keep hands off in private.
iv) Beware of eye contact.
v) Load the conscience with warnings of Scripture and the issues at stake.
e. Domestic incompetence
1 Tim. 3:4-5
1) Beware of not caring for your property.
2) Beware of a bossy or broken wife.
3) Beware of unruly or crushed children.
f. Inconsistency in general
1 Tim. 4:12
Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1967), pp. 120-121.
See also Bridges, The Christian Ministry, pp. 112-137.
See also C. H. Spurgeon, “The Minister’s Ordinary Conversation,” in Lectures to My Students.
g. Slovenliness or social boorishness
Be sensitive to such matters as clothing, grooming, laughter, manners, and mannerisms.
R. C. Sproul, “The Whole Man,” in The Preacher and Preaching, ed. Samuel T. Logan, Jr. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1986), p. 110-112.
3. Concluding observations
a. It is possible to be respected when not loved.
1) John the Baptist
b. It takes longer to earn the confidence of some more than others because of personalities and past experiences.
c. Do not make respect and confidence your primary aim.
2 Cor. 5:9
d. Respect and confidence earned over a long period of time may be lost in a moment.
e. Respect and confidence may be eroded by lies and slander.
2 Cor. 6:8
The example of our Lord