The Work of the Pastor, William Still

“God has caused you to become pastor to some souls here who are as valuable to Him as any in the world – your quiet persistence will be a sign that you believe God has a purpose of grace for this people, and that this purpose of grace will be promoted, not by gimmicks, or stunts, or new ideas, but by the Word of God released in preaching by prayer.

“There will soon be evidence that God is at work – and the devil will rouse himself too! . . . There will be opposition, and you may be quite surprised at where it comes from – notably those who have been ‘running the church’ and who have turned the church of Jesus Christ into their private preserve and hobby.  Those whose daily lives do not match up to their profession will begin to be disturbed.  Those who maintain class distinctions, social or intellectual, in the congregation, and all who put up with the fulminations of a young minister as along as he does not seriously interfere with their status quo, will begin to panic.  Amidst all this, consciences will be stirred and lives will be searched, home life, business, church activities examined.  People will begin to take sides, objections to you and to what you preach, and how you preach it, will become increasingly plausible (but quite irrational when you consider them).  Your manner, length and style of preaching, etc. will all be torn to pieces.

“In this work we must not be afraid of upset.  We must not go out of our way to create it; we don’t look for trouble, but seek peace.  But if we are going to be faithful to God and to men, there will be upset.  The great thing to know is that God is at work creatively, through His Word, in answer to the prayers of His people.  There is not a greater task a man can perform in the whole world than this, that he is being used to release the all-searching Word of God upon a company of needy souls.  It is the most amazing thing.  It works!  God works.  His Word works.  Prayer works. The Spirit Works.”

(William Still, The Work of the Pastor, pp25-27).

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