I’m just wrapping up Preaching? Simple Teaching on Simply Preaching by Alec Motyer, and it is full of wisdom. (Tim Keller said, “Alec Motyer has had a profound, formative influence on my preaching. In this book he puts his decades of wisdom on expository preaching at the reader’s fingertips. This is as practical and Biblically solid a book on preaching as you can find today.”)
Motyer’s second to last chapter, entitled “The Last Lap” talks about the importance of the pastor’s spiritual life for the potency of his ministry. These sentences show in color what we read in black and white in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1: that having character – not mad ministry skills – is tops when it comes to fitness for pastoring.
“It seems to me that the key to an effective ministry is our own personal walk with God, our consistent closeness to Him or, as I once heard it put, ‘We are blessed not for what we do but for the direction in which we are moving’. In other words, if we are consistently making our own spiritual progress, advancing in Christlikeness, growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18), we will find that blessing follows.
It is not the most able who are blessed in their ministry, but the most holy. I recall a colleague who, humanly speaking, had very little going for him as far as ministry was concerned. He had not been blessed with brains; he couldn’t preach for toffee. Yet as I look back over his long ministry in four different places, I see a constant trail of blessing, of churches transformed and still growing to this day, of people drawn to Christ, of new ventures called into being and still flourishing. To the end he was still undersupplied with brains, still an indifferent preacher, but he was a man of transparent integrity who lived close to God. People could see it, and God blessed it.”
You can buy the book here.