HERE ARE SOME quotes from men of God that have served the church. They distill down the basic secret of Christian ministry. They begin with a first century apostle, move to a 17th century Puritan, and to present day leaders. Enjoy!

2 Corinthians 4:11-12. “For we who live are always being give over to death for Jesus’ sake; so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us but life in you.”

John Flavel (17th Century Puritan): “I may say to him that snatched at the ministry, as Henry IV did to his son, that hastily snatched at the crown, He little knows what a heap of cares and toils he snatcheth at. The labors of ministry will exhaust the very marrow from your bones, hasten old age and death.’ They are fitly compared to the toil of men in harvest, to the labours of a woman in travail, and to the agonies of soldier in the extremity of battle. We must watch when others sleep.”[1]

Dave Harvey: “No man achieves ministry by pursuing his ambition. He achieves it by pursuing God’s glory…The ultimate test of a called man is whether he desires the advancement of the gospel more than the advancement of his own ministry. This is the constant daily test  for the called man.”[2]

Darrin Patrick: “Jeremiah is a picture of what it is like to be called into pastoral ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible (Jer. 20:29). And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career.”[3]
Dr. Thomas Schreiner: “[Paul’s] opponents insisted that signs and wonders were indications that God’s Spirit was working, but Paul maintains that one must suffer for the life of Jesus to be revealed. Signs and wonders are not evil, but in themselves they do not provide a basis for legitimacy since those who are evil can also perform the miraculous (2 Thess 2:9).”[5]
Dr. Don Carson: “The leaders death means the church’s life. This is why the best Christian leadership cannot simply be appointed. It is forged by God himself in the fires of , taught in the school of tears. There are no shortcuts.”[1]

[1]John Flavel, The Works of John Flavel, Vol. 6,(Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1820, reprint 1968)  pg 568
[2]Dave Harvey, Are You Called?  Pg 45,46 (Sovereign Grace Perspectives Series)
[3]Darrin Patrick, Church Planter (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010) pg 30
[5]Thomas R. Schreiner. Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology (Kindle Locations 1148-1150). Kindle Edition. 
[1] Carson, D.A., How Long Oh Lord, pg 90 (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1990)