The Architect and the Contractor

THE church is designed by an architect and built by a contractor

John Wesley Fowler, Pastor, Georgia-Cumberland Conference

THE church is designed by an architect and built by a contractor. The architect has the brain and the contractor the build­ing skills. We could well classify many ministers under these two headings.

First there is the minister who is the designer. He is a man of thought rather than action. He loves to study, to preach, and to write. Yet he does very little to exe­cute the plans and ideas about which he thinks and writes and preaches. This type of minister confines his work primarily to the pulpit when a large and indispensable work for souls begins after the sermon has been preached. He is like a well-equipped and thoroughly disciplined soldier who will not get into the fray of the battle; therefore, he accomplishes very little.

Then there is the preacher who is not inclined at all along the lines of designing. He studies very little for himself. He con­cerns himself with the mechanics of church organization rather than the spiritual force behind it. He is more concerned with pro­moting than with preaching. This type of preacher is satisfied to preach other men's sermons, to think other men's thoughts, and to follow the designs that other men direct. His thoughts have not been disci­plined to know the mind and heart of God. Therefore, his efforts bring forth little spiritual growth.

However, not all ministers fit into the above classifications. We can be thankful for the minister who is a combination of the architect and the building contractor. He is a man following the example of the Lord, who revealed thought and action. He is one whose thoughts are directed by none other than the great "I AM" and whose soul-winning activity is motivated by a God-given understanding of the eter­nal verities that face the multitudes in this challenging hour.

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John Wesley Fowler, Pastor, Georgia-Cumberland Conference

November 1968

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