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Monday, July 9, 2012

How many churches lack a full time preacher?


    I'm reasonably confident that most are familiar with the above statement, knowing it is what God said in Genesis 2:18 concerning Adam.  Though Adam lived in a paradise and was surrounded by many animals, still he was alone.  He was alone because he had no one else like himself with which to associate. God solved the problem by creating woman. 


            The principle ingrained in the statement that it is not good that man should be alone, has several applications reaching out beyond the marriage relationship.  For example, it is not good if a man has no friends.  Life is so much more tolerable and meaningful if a man has at least one good friend.  Preachers are notorious for having no friends. Sure we are surrounded by many people, most who treat us well and would come to our rescue if we had a need. Still, a preacher must be "on guard" at every word he speaks knowing that it can be twisted, taken out of context, and used against him if the circumstances are ripe.  We were warned about this in Preaching School, but at the time, I didn't believe it.  Thirty years later - - I believe it.  I know a preacher who was good friends with a non-Christian whom he had grown-up with.  The preacher kept encouraging him to come to his church.  Finally, the man told him, "We're too good of friends for me to start coming to your church."  The more I think about that, the more truth I see in it. While there are some exceptions, the rule is if a preacher has a real friend, it will be another preacher.  If such cannot be found, "burn-out" most likely occurs, and another empty pulpit is added to the already 8,000 pulpits that are void of a fulltime preacher in our Brotherhood.


            Also, we can see the wisdom of God in commanding a weekly assembly of those who are of "like precious faith."  Why? Because it is not good that man should be alone.  Assembling with fellow Christians allows us to absorb strength and encouragement from one another.  Failing to associate with fellow Christians could lead us to develop the "Elijah complex," i.e. thinking we are the only real Christian left. "Not forsaking the assembly" has tangent applications that are beneficial beyond what is specifically stated in Hebrews 10:24-25.


            There is also a "divine" principle in the statement that "it is not good that man should be alone."  It has to do with the "communion" that Christians take on the first day of every week. The word "communion" should destroy the word "aloneness."  Not only do we have fellowship with one another, but also with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (1John 1:3).


            A good wife is precious;  a good friend is precious;  fellow Christians are precious, and communion with God is precious. Why? Because "it is not good that man should be alone."


                                        --Toby Miller

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