Vol.XIX No.II Pg.8
April 1982

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

When should we tell a man he ought not preach? Should we ever say such a thing? All saints should teach truth, privately and publicly as opportunity allows — and it does allow far more open doors than we enter; but we refer to full time evangelistic work, fully supported (1 Cor. 9:1-14). Can we afford to advise one who desires such a work that he may better serve God in some other capacity?

Some men are "out of place:" they are poorly trained, unsuited, may lack temperament and ability to meet the demands of the particular job they are trying to do. In other circumstances they may do well — and experience will broaden the field where they are suited to the work.

But some want the church to shape up to their measurement. "I'm the preacher; what's good for me is good for the church!" That kind should join the U.S. army, or the likes.

One fellow contacted me about working in Australia, but changed plans when he learned he would have difficulty getting his dog through customs and quarantine. I don't know a single Aussie who would want a man who chose a dog before salvation of their souls. Imagine Paul telling the Macedonian caller, "I can't come, because of the Greek dog quarantine."

Another preacher who was "looking for a place" said he had been invited to consider a north Alabama church, but when he drove down and saw the red clay soil in that section he went back home without making contact. I told him he had passed up opportunity to work with some of the finest people on God's red earth.

The man who preaches "as a way of making a living" is a hireling (Jn. 10: 11-13), seeking his own comfort, so much preach for so much money. There are churches with an equally commercial concept of "paying" the preacher as little as possible, and counting hours, calls made, and books read. It seems these two deserve each other. The church and the man have missed the true meaning of "fellowship" in the gospel of Christ, and its work.

No one can stop a truly dedicated man from preaching. He will find his place, and brethren will support him.