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Still Preaching, but Running From the Ministry

Folks will sometimes say that a young man or woman who obviously has gifts in ministry is running from the ministry when she or he does not want any part of the ministry.

God has called them, and instead of walking in that ministry, they want to do something else. That is a definition of “running from the ministry,” but there are other ways to run from the ministry.

Whole Counsel Preaching Is Needed

What about when God calls you to preach a word of correction to your people (it is time to live right) and instead you preach yet another word of encouragement (God will be with you in your pain). Certainly both are needed … but you might be running from your calling by not preaching both over the course of your ministry.

What about when your people need to hear about the ethical demands of being a member of the Kingdom of God (turn the other cheek, love your enemies, bless them that curse you), but you only preach about the benefits of being such a member (God has a blessing for you with your name on it!)?

Great Preaching Is Not Always Easy

You see, as a preacher, we are called to preach the word in season and out of season. (2 Timothy 4:2)

But too many of us are running from the ministry even as we preach every week. Too many of us are running from our calling even though we “wreck the house” and “shout the church.” Many of us are running from the ministry that God has called us to.

Steps To Better Preaching

What can we do if we are running from the ministry?

First, pray to the Lord for both forgiveness and guidance as we seek to do better.

Second, recognize that God still has blessed, and will bless, the Word that has gone out. If God can use a donkey (Numbers 22:28)

Third, sit down and look at the real needs of your people. Turn off the media ministers that are on the radio and television. They cannot preach to your congregation’s needs, they must preach to a larger world, but you have a specific people with specific needs and hopes and dreams that must be addressed by the Balm of Gilead. There are people who are desperately needing a word from God. Don’t give them empty promises of certain financial blessings. Instead, stop “running from the ministry” and preach the full counsel of God to your people so that they can withstand the fiery ordeal. (1 Peter 4:12)  

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.