People are the same everywhere. No matter where you go, people have the same problems across cultures and places.
When you are in the ministry, sometimes the tasks necessary for the minister to do become overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be so. If the minister is diligent, and saves the work he has already done (like in files in his computer), then he can use old work again.
The Changing Faces of our Churches
The truth of the matter is that we are all here for a short period of time, and then afterward, we will be gone. While some may think that God will call them into another ministry in another place, and this does happen, I am thinking that I will die some day. While it is entirely possible for a church building to last 200 years, the people don’t. We have to accept that the pastor may labor 40 years in a church, most of the people in that congregation will “turn over” multiple times during those 40 years of a pastor. Simply put, some will move on to another church somewhere else, some will die, and new people will come in.
While this is discouraging usually, it is a blessing at the same time. In other words, professionally as a preacher, if you invest a large amount of time into making your sermons excellent from the beginning, or at least as good as you humanly can, after many of your people have left and new people have come in, you can reuse these sermons again.
When I reuse a sermon, I usually take what I had from way back, and I rework the sermon, often adding and removing parts to make it better if I can. You take a good sermon and make it better.
Dealing with people
When you deal with people in counseling, you need to be prepared. I took counseling classes in seminary and Bible college, but they really didn’t help me a lot when I started actually started counseling people. It is not so much that a counseling class will give you great wisdom, but that you are experienced and know how people are. For example, in EVERY SINGLE COUNSELING PROBLEM, the first then you need to ascertain and establish is that all the parties you are talking to are truly saved. The lack of sincerity in people usually come from a lack of moral character, which in turn comes from a lack of being saved. Maybe somebody is having problems, and they are a new Christian, and yes that happens frequently, but at the heart of the matter is a saved person handles life’s problems with God’s Word.
A corollary of this principle is that all of the problems of the pastor need to be dealt with through the preaching of God’s Word.
In other words, problems with people have an underlying spiritual problem, and while you can intimidate a gossip into not gossiping so openly, you need to deal with the Scriptures relating to that problem of gossip.
In doing this over time, you need to keep these sermons on your fingertips, where you can find them again if needed. And without a doubt, if you stay in the same church long enough, a fresh batch of people will come in and the issue needs to be dealt with again.
The Use of Tracts
If you study church history, you will see a term pop up, “pampletists” or “pamphlet”. These were people who dealt with issues in their day (a pamplet has to do with doctrine and religious issues) by putting arguments in writing. They printed these after the printing press was made available. But the idea is simply of making an issue well-defined and clear once, and then setting it into a printed form for use by others or by one’s own self in the future. (Note, I am a missionary and I have somewhere approaching 600 Spanish tracts. Go to coxtracts.com where I have about 100 of these translated into English.)
Not Everybody is the Same
While people are always different, their problems usually come in under the normal problems of humans. The writer of Ecclesiastes said…
Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
As a pastor, I deal with each person somewhat differently. At the same time, I understand that problems with married couples, the loneliness of singles, the rebellion of children, etc. are just standard fair for church people’s problems. In one case, maybe, the parents are unsaved, and you need to focus a lot of attention of evangelism with them, and in another case, the parents are faithful church members for years, and you need to see where bad influence enters into the kids’ lives or failing parents have erred.
So while this present situation may be unique in what you have dealt with before, but it also may not be, and if you have dealt with it in the past, where are your notes and verses for dealing with it? Make that easy to get to in order to use again. Also, if you can print things out and give a good presentation to somebody that you have dealt with on their problem before, why not have that ready and available?
People are the same everywhere
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- What Church Planter’s Workshop is about
- Improving your Preaching: Detecting poor preaching and mediocrity
- What should we Preach?
- Adaptability is not necessarily Good
- Why I use a Manuscript (notes-outline)?
- Things that ruin a Church: Qualities that Destroy
- Church Advertisement that Works
- How many points should a good sermon have?
- Ministerial Covetousness
- Sermons need an application