These articles were written by Dr. Jack Hughes, pastor at Crossing Church in Louisville. He has taught sermon delivery at The Masters Seminary.
The first article concerns proper ministry goals & objectives. Using the example of Jeremiah, he explains that ministry must be judged by faithfulness to God, not normal markers of prestige (numbers, budget, et cetera):
Jeremiah teaches us that God glorifying ministry is about being faithful to obey God’s Word and His calling for our life by proclaiming the truth of God’s Word without compromise. It has nothing to do with us saving anyone, growing our church, or being popular. Yes, we will desire spiritual and numeric growth, but if we focus on that, rather than faithfulness, we will often attract people by worldly means, and the result will be a worldly congregation. If you are thinking to yourself right now, “Well that doesn’t sound very fun,” then you are catching on. Ministry isn’t about you having fun; it isn’t about you; it’s about glorifying God by humbly submitting to His Word. Fun times may be included if God so wills, but they are not the goal or criteria for biblically successful ministry.
Read the rest here: Beware of Worldly Ideas of Ministry Success
The second article concerns church leaders who try to gain control over a a congregation by using unbiblical, ungodly methods. Not trusting in the power of the Word of God, nor the Spirit of God, they rely upon their own power — to the destruction of the congregation, the disgrace of the Gospel, and the sorrow of all:
Men of truth will be known by their deeds. They will be men who have labored to faithfully teach, preach, counsel, and shepherd the flock. They will be men who care for the sheep, who invite people into their homes and show hospitality, who have a history of laboring for the spiritual health of the sheep. Though there is always opposition to men who preach the truth, true believers thrive under the ministries of faithful shepherds; they don’t cringe from them in fear. Faithful shepherds are men of prayer, wise counsel, love, and gentleness. Jesus said you will know true, God-glorifying leaders by their fruit (Mt. 7:15-20). Those leaders that scatter the sheep, rather than shepherd them, are a grief to God and God’s people (Jer. 23:1-2).
Read the rest here: When Church Leaders Abuse Church Discipline