By David O. Lanius, Jr.
The preaching of the gospel is the greatest work that a man could possibly desire. This work results in the salvation of sinners and edification of saints. Truly no man can spend his hours of work in a more fruitful or beneficial way. It is not necessary even to be burdened with spending the 40-50 hours away from God’s work in secular work to earn a living, if the church can provide support (1 Cor. 9).
A growing number of preachers, however, are leaving the ranks of the full-time evangelist. Why? What do they offer as a reason for leaving?
1. I cannot make a living.
2. I do not have any job security.
3. I do not want to move that often.
4. I just want to try my hands at something different.
5. The brethren just do not care about the sacrifices I am making.
6. I do not have any family life.
7. My family (especially my wife) just is not happy with me preaching. Are these valid reasons or is it possible that you have lost the desire to bear all burdens for the cause of Christ?
Why did you ever start full-time work? Was it for personal gain, prestige, financial security or did you at one time truly yearn to do His work as long and as hard as you possibly could? What has changed? As I allow my mind to dwell upon this thought, I am reminded of the early disciples, and even those during the restoration movement, who were willing to give up all to spread the word of our Lord Jesus Christ. Could it be that some of us are just not willing to give up “things” for the Cause?
Consider if you will this thought. Perhaps some full-time preachers have been so busy in preaching to others that they have not taken time to listen themselves. (Cf. Rom. 2:21-23; 1 Cor. 9:27). Could it be that we are so busy telling others to live for Christ (Phil. 1:21), and set their affections on things above and not on things below, for the Lord will provide their every need (Matt. 6:33), that we forget that it applies to us as well. Perhaps we have come so far as to forget that while we are preaching to others that here we have no continuing city, the same truth is applicable to us. Our thoughts as gospel preachers should be toward preparing ourselves, as well as others, for that eternal abode where our every thought will be spiritual in nature. Have we, or are we, becoming so unbelieving as to think God will not provide for his own (preachers) as he has promised?
Truth Magazine XIX: 18, p. 277
March 13, 1975