The Root of a Problem

Wesley N. Dawson
Hammond, Indiana

Brethren often express concern over the shortage of faithful gospel preachers. They wonder why more men do not go into this work and why some men quit soon after beginning. All kind of explanations are made and solutions sought, but none seems to explain or solve this growing problem.

When a farmer has a problem with his plants, one of the first places he looks for insects or disease is the root system. Christians might do well to get to the root of the preacher problem. Look at the place where the development of preachers has its beginning.

The preacher shortage could be due to any of three "root problems." All three can be solved by obedience to the command given by Paul to Timothy. "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2)

(1) The problem may stem from lack of teaching. Timothy was to "commit" the gospel to others. In particular, he was to train "faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." In past years most gospel preachers have failed miserably in training others to proclaim the Word of Truth.

(2) Those to whom these things are committed must be "faithful." A man should never be persuaded to preach because "it might do him some good." Remember that the Lord said, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." (Luke 16: 10).

(3) The men who become evangelists must "be able to teach others also." Many feel that every male Christian should preach. Not so! Paul pointed out the differences in "gifts" (1 Corinthians 12). The same is true of abilities. A man is held responsible for the talent he has. Let each find his particular ability and use it to the glory of God.

November 18, 1971