To me, as a preacher, one of the most stirring, throat-grabbing-and-shaking passages in the Bible is the one that starts this way:I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom... (2 Timothy 4:1)
What? You charge me what? I'm sitting up, wide-awake, alert, holding my breath. With an attention-getter like that, what is the apostle going to say? Next verse:...PREACH THE WORD!
There it is. That is our defining task. That is what we must do.
There may be pastoral activities that are nice, and even complementary — but this is not one of them. This is a must. This is definitional. This is non-negotiable. Fail at this, and you fail at pastoral ministry.
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