Dear Pastor Jamie,
As you well know, today is your last full Sunday with us here at Forest Baptist Church (as our Minister to Students). Next week you will begin feeding and leading your new congregation (Greenville Baptist Church), as you preach for them and begin your transition process to become their senior pastor. I know that you will still be with us, during the weeks throughout May, but I thought that your last, official Sunday here deserves some special attention.
To mark the occasion, I wanted to share some advice from one pastor to another. Looking to 1 and 2 Timothy as a kind of pastor’s primer, I jotted down these challenges and encouragements for you.
Paul thought that these words were good advice for a new senior pastor. I concure with Paul.
Please know that, not only will I, but the Forest congregation, will be praying for you and your family as you move to this new assignment. As I have told our congregation repeatedly, “This is not a loss for Forest Baptist Church. This is a win for the kingdom of God.”
I count it a real privilege to have served alongside you here at FBC. May God bless you richly as you are obedient to Him.
Grace & Peace,
Keep your tenure as long as possible.
(Be a “through thick-and-thin” pastor.)
“As I urged you…remain on at Ephesus…” (1 Tim 1:3)
Keep your fists ready for battle.
(Be a truth-defending pastor.)
“This I command you…fight the good fight, keeping [the] faith…” (1 Tim 2:18-19)
Keep your knees on the ground.
(Be a praying pastor).
“I urge that entreaties and prayers…be made on behalf of all men.” (1 Tim 2:1)
Keep your gospel no wider than the cross.
(Be a “Jesus is the only way” pastor.)
“For there is…one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim 2:5)
Keep your heart as pure as snow.
(Be a sanctified pastor.)
“A pastor must be…above reproach…temperate, prudent, respectable…” (1 Tim 3:2)
Keep your arms around your wife.
(Be a one-woman pastor.)
“A pastor must be…the husband of one wife.” (1 Tim 3:2)
Keep your wallet open wide.
(Be a generous pastor.)
“A pastor must be…free from the love of money.”
Keep your mind focused.
(Be an undistracted pastor.)
“But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women.” (1 Tim 4:7a)
Keep yourself disciplined.
(Be a self-monitoring pastor.)
“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching…” (1 Tim 4:16)
Keep your words gracious to the senior saints.
(Be a respectful pastor.)
“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father.” (1 Tim 5:1)
Keep your opinion of widows high.
(Be a widow-revering pastor.)
“Honor widows…” (1 Tim 5:3)
Keep your ordination process rigorous.
(Be a “slow-to-ordain” pastor.)
“Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily…” (1 Tim 5:22)
Keep your materialism restrained.
(Be a contented pastor.)
“If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” (1 Tim 6:8)
Keep your tears near the surface.
(Be a compassionate pastor.)
“I thank God… as I remember your tears.” (2 Timothy 1:3-4)
Keep your hands to the plow.
(Be a hard-working pastor.)
“The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share…” (2 Tim 2:6)
Keep your path free from imprudent sins.
(Be a virtuous pastor.)
“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness…” (2 Tim 2:22)
Keep your convictions where they should be.
(Be an orthodox pastor.)
“Continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of…” (2 Tim 3:14)
Keep your sermons in the text.
(Be a Bible-preaching pastor.)
“Preach the Word” (2 Tim 4:2).
Keep your feet beautiful.
(Be a gospel-sharing pastor.)
“Do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5)
Keep your nose in books.
(Be a reading pastor.)
“When you come bring the books, especially the parchments.” (2 Tim 4:13)
Keep your vengeance at bay.
(Be a self-controlled pastor.)
“Alexander did me much harm; the Lord will repay him.” (2 Tim 4:14)
Keep your smile big and warm.
(Be a friendly pastor.)
“Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorous.” (2 Tim 4:19)
Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord.
(Be a Jesus-treasuring pastor.)
“The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” (2 Tim 4:22)