Saturday, January 15, 2005

Should you preach?

On occasion I’ve been asked why I’m in ministry and I’m occasionally asked by others if I think they ought to consider preaching. The following story was related to me before I ever started preaching and I still consider it the best possible response . . .
“A young brother came to him [R.C. Rice], saying: ‘Bro. Rice, I want to ask your advice about a very serious matter. Do you think I ought to prepare myself for the ministry and preach the gospel?’ ‘Not if you can help it,’ said the preacher. The reply was neither expected, nor, at first, understood by the young man. He repeated: ‘Do not be a preacher if you can help it. If you can follow any other business without feeling that you are neglecting your duty or without any compunction, do so; for a man should preach only when he cannot help it.’” (Moses Lard, Lard’s Quarterly, July 1865, II:4, p.368)
Speaking for myself - I can’t help it. And I thank God.