Tuesday, May 14, 2013

WORDS TO LIVE BY: Harold Sightler's "Advice to Preachers"

Albie's Note:  You can quote me on this.  My all-time favorite preacher of the Gospel-- and I am an ARDENT student of preachers and preaching-- was a man I never actually met:  Harold B. Sightler [1914-1995], long time Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greensboro, SC

To me, "Brother Harold" was everything a preacher should be: Bold but Loving, Honest but Compassionate, fiercely dedicated to God and His Written Word but alarmingly gentle in his appoarch to lost sinners.   It helps also that his voice was one of the greatest ever lent to the "pulpiteering" trade!  Here, Brother Sightler gives his advice to young men who feel called of God to proclaim His Word-- a sober responsibility to say the least! 

These words show the wisdom and grace of this departed servant in a special way.

"God calls a preacher for a ministry.  The greatest thing that you will ever discover, is God's will for you and then set out to do that will of God.  Be yourself and serve the Lord where you are.  The most absurd thing you can do is to try to  be somebody else.  Be yourself and serve Him to the best of your ability.  I don't place much stock on glowing reports. I think you ought to serve the Lord where you are, do what you can, and then go home at night and sleep and rest, then get up and do the same thing the next day.  Mind your own business, and keep on preaching the
gospel.  Let the Lord take care of the results.  One of the problems in the ministry is that we try to do what someone else has done, that's a very foolish thing.  I want to do what I can do.  God called me for a job, and I want to do my work.  Do what you can do where God put you.  Do it in your way and God's way, and God will bless you.  You can't have peace in your soul as you grow older unless you have done the will of God.  That amounts to a whole lot when you get to my age.  You will have knowledge in your soul that you have done the will of God.  Don't measure your ministry by the standard of the world.    A lot of what you read is propaganda and promotion.  I heard a preacher say, " If somebody does not walk the isle one Sunday, I am dead."  I feel sorry for him.  It must be awful to live under that kind of pressure, and have that king of attitude, and then to give your church the idea that you think that way is some kind of suicide.  You'll never pastor a church for any length of time with that attitude.  Let the Lord give you the results.  If somebody walks the isle, praise  the Lord.  If not, praise the Lord anyway.  God called me to preach. If they walk the isle, praise the Lord.  If not, I am going to preach anyway, and go on for the glory of God."


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