Pastoral Dos and Don'ts

A successful church pastor must be on duty twenty-four hours a day, ready to answer a call for help at any time.

By H. H. HICKS, Pastor, Loma Linda, California

A successful church pastor must be on duty twenty-four hours a day, ready to answer a call for help at any time. He must be a man of faith, prayer, and consecration. He must have a clear spiritual vision, and must lead the way himself. He must feed the church on the bread of life, and always pro­vide for the spiritual needs of the children and young people. Christ and His saving grace must be the central theme of every sermon, and the third angel's message must be preached in simplicity and purity.

Dignity, order, and reverence are to be maintained in all services. The Lord's house is to be kept clean and attractive, both within and without. Never should old banners, post­ers, or charts be kept on display. Avoid long services. Begin on time and close on time. Never let your services drag.

The pastor should see that all the children of the church have the privileges and ad­vantages of a Christian education. He should see that the sick and needy are cared for, and that the poor of the church are not left to be buried in the county burial ground or in the potter's field. God will and does bless a church that cares for its needy ones. We have seen it demonstrated here.

A pastor should work closely with his church board, enlisting their cooperation. He must never identify himself with factions or cliques. He must honor and respect the aged, especially elderly workers, and must be a friend to the boys and girls. He must never lose his sense of deep sympathy for the bereaved in their hours of sorrow.

Avoid taking extreme positions, and beware of fanatics and fanaticism. Preach a positive gospel. Never scold or complain or ridicule. Preach love, courage, faith, and the blessed hope. Attack the cause of worldliness rather than the symptoms. Be kind to those who criticize you. Profit by criticism. It ofttimes is helpful.

Choose faithful, well-qualified officers. Keep the church at work. Choose good music for all services. Be humble, teachable, friendly. Drink deeply at the fountain of life and. follow divine leadership. Never forget the church in your own house. It is your first responsibility. Heed the apostle's word, "Keep thyself pure." Study the Word, read good books, pray; and take an active part in the Sabbath school, the Missionary Volunteer Society, and all the work of the church. Cooperate with the conference officers in the work they are endeavoring to carry forward. Never for one moment forget your high calling. Remember you are God's ambassador. Always meditate much upon your charge as found in 2 Timothy 4:25 and Acts 20:28.

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season ; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffer­ing and doctrine. . . . But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood."

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By H. H. HICKS, Pastor, Loma Linda, California

March 1939

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