Some people miss the point of life altogether. Not only do they miss the point of life, they miss the point of ministry. For instance, one pastor, asked what advice he would give to seminarians, “stressed the importance of learning practical pastoral matters, such as working with committees, mobilizing leaders, time management, strategic planning, managing a budget and managing disciples.”
Managing disciples? I did not make that up. A pastor really said that.
A healthy contrast to this is found in the latest issue of Southwestern News, which profiles Dr. Matthew McKellar, pastor of Sylvania Church in Tyler, TX. Dr. McKellar has preached in our chapel in Houston, and it was one of the best sermons I have heard in our chapel. He simply opened the Bible and explained it to us, helping us to know God through God’s own revelation of himself, pointing to the tremendous majesty of God, marveling in the mercy that the Lord has been pleased to show to us. The main point of the text he was preaching was the main point of his sermon. McKellar understands the point of life and ministry. He knows that life and ministry are about God. At the conclusion of the piece on him in Southwestern News, he is quoted saying:
“I am a man to whom God has been abundantly gracious and faithful . . . I want people to know that my prayer is like the Puritans used to say, ‘Delighting in God is the work of my life.’ I want my existence to be totally focused on making a big deal about who God is and what He has done through His son, Jesus Christ.”
Amen! May his tribe increase! McKellar has been at Sylvania Church for 20 years, modeling faithful pastoral ministry. Commenting on ministry, McKellar points to God’s faithfulness, to prayer, and the Bible.
May the Lord so ravish the souls of the manager-ministers that they cannot help but be consumed with the greatness of God, all taken up with the study of his word, and ever pointing seminarians to Christ, not the skills they need.
We are not the point. Our capacities are not the point. The point is that God is pleased to glorify himself through the things that are not, through the weak, through the low and despised, and all so that the glory will be all his.