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It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God
to serve tables…we will devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word. ~ Acts 6:2b, 4 (ESV)

READING: II Timothy 4:1-5

Have you ever had one of those weeks when unexpected problems and crises kept you from study and prayer, so that by Sunday you were not prepared to preach? All pastors have weeks like this. But being careful about organizational details, systematically training and deploying people, having back-ups – these are the administrative details that over time will help us keep our balance so we won’t be thrown off course when emergencies hit.

It’s a principle we can learn from the leaders of the Jerusalem church. When the “widow crisis” surfaced, they might have been tempted to deal with the problem themselves. But here’s the third principle from their story: they reaffirmed their own priorities.

They saw the problem had to be fixed, and they knew it was urgent. But they also knew their ministry of preaching and prayer could not be delegated. It was God’s call for them as leaders, shepherds, and equippers.

The church planter often has to do everything in a new church. He arrives early on Sundays and sets up chairs, leads worship, teaches children, plans picnics, chaperones youth events, drives others to appointments – a multitude of good, godly activities. But if he doesn’t recruit, train, and delegate soon, he will ruin his health and neutralize his effectiveness as an intercessor and preacher.

Church planter, administrative attention will save your true priorities! It will keep you from exhausting yourself with important, but non-essential, tasks, and allow you to stay true to your calling – preaching and prayer.

Father, Protect me from getting so busy with things others should do that I neglect what you’ve called me to do: pray and preach. Amen.

Jim Carpenter