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Doctrinal Writings
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Pastoral Theology

Part IV

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Dr. Richard C. Weeks


      • A. Training Background.

        • 1. Not a little of a pastor's study
    and sermon preparation will depend upon his training

        • 2. One cannot get "blood out of a turnip"
    neither can one expect for instance to be able to exegete the New Testament without knowing Greek.

        • 3. It stands to reason
    that one's theological preparation for the ministry should be thorough and as uninterrupted as possible. For this reason we suggest patience and getting one's entire training without interruption --- seven years for one coming to Bible School right out of High School; at least five years for older men.

      • B. Importance of Proper Preparation.

        • 1. This area is a great pitfall for many pastors.

        • 2. Demands for other necessary duties are so great.

        • 3. It is easy to get smug
    about ones knowledge of the Word.

        • 4. Some learn to sermonize (outline)
    easily and then preach with little content because of little time spent in preparation.

        • 5. Because some geniuses
    like Spurgeon have seemingly cut corners others figure that they can also.

        • 6. Jesus said "Feed my sheep" and "Feed my lambs."

        • 7. Last minute cramped for time
    shoddy Saturday night preparation is much too prevalent.

        • 8. See IV- D Supplement Sheets

      • C. The Mechanics and Content in Sermon Preparation -- (Homiletics Class).

      • D. The Time of Preparation

        • 1. Systematic

          • a. Every morning 2 hours Monday - Friday 8 to 10 a.m. - Minimum time.

          • b. Polish them Saturday evening 2 hours - 7 - 9 p. m. & Sunday afternoon 1 hr.

        • 2. Primary importance

        • 3. Dr. Howard Sugden spends
    15 hours a week on Sunday a.m. message and 10 hours a week on Sunday p.m. message.

        • 4. The way is wide open
    for more great preachers utilizing that twin ''T" team of training and time.

        • 5. In addition time
    must be allowed for preparation for Wednesday evening and for special occasions.


      • A. Planning

        • 1. Taken for granted a preacher should plan on marriage.

          • a. A bachelor
    is at a distinct disadvantage as a preacher even as an evangelist but especially as a pastor, not impossible but inadvisable.

          • b. Most difficult for a bachelor
    either to understand his families' problems or to counsel with them about them.

        • 2. Selection of a wife.

          • a. For those already married,
    it is manifestly too late to be concerned about selecting.

          • b. However, if married already
    and planning on the Gospel ministry be sure your wife is qualified and senses a burden (call) also to be the wife of a Gospel preacher. Otherwise stop now.

          • c. Qualifications of a good wife for a Gospel preacher.

            Genuine Spirituality.

            Good knowledge of the Word of God.

            Desire to see souls saved and ability to lead women and children to Christ.

            Heart of compassion and genuine love for people-unselfishness.

            Humility - willingness to be in the background if necessary.

            Capability to help her husband as a critic of his preaching, an advisor when asked, a worker with women and a helper in a secretarial capacity if needed.

            Intelligent and a good 4 yr. Bible college education if possible.

            Neat personal appearance of herself, children and home.

            Pleasant personality.

          • d. Beautiful looks are not on the list for qualifications of a good wife of a Gospel preacher.

            An asset to some degree but minimal.

            Beauty is often a hindrance in character.

            Many fellows regretfully put looks at the top of the list and begin searching with that in mind. Tragic, for the beauty will fade rapidly but the vanity always remains.

          • e. Probably some of the best "buys" in mates
    for wives are overlooked in a coed Bible college because fellows would rather respond to the coyness of a forward girl than do some rational thinking and set their affection on one less boisterous or reserved in bearing but having terrific qualifications as in c. above. In other words, sadly but true, young fellows often don't exercise common sense and take either the drab incapable first come or the spectacular instead of those who are genuine and will "wear well" over the long haul. Please remember, because a girl falls for you does not mean she is the one God has for you. It may well mean only that she wants (1) A man, (2) A husband and name change, (3) A perpetual meal ticket and means of support.

          • f. The most important factor
    in seeking a mate is getting to know the individual over a rather lengthy period of time before marriage.

            • (1) Six months or less courtships
    are for "the birds. " It is impossible to really know a person in that length of time.

            • (2) Courtship during a Bible College
    setting is under abnormal conditions. There have to be group restrictions, and time requirements are so demanding for more important school activities that there is a very limited amount. Consequently a long range program of courtship ought to be a "must." Invariably students who "fall so hard" and think that they must plan on marriage the very next June, try to make up for a couple years of regular courtship in a few months and seriously hurt their schoolwork. This is tragic and hurts them much more than they realize.

            • (3) Courtship in almost
    any boarding school setting will be artificial at best in many ways. Each person especially on a short haul basis is on his "best behaviour" to the other. There is little opportunity to see how the other person reacts under pressure. There is little opportunity to see the natural industriousness or lack of it under a school set up which requires work to be done.

            • (4) Recognize any faulty
    ingrained character traits and know that they will most likely be intensified after marriage not lessened. Then decide whether you are prepared to live with those traits 24 hours a day, 365 1/4 days a year for the rest of your life. If they would hinder your ministry, God help you to sever the relationship immediately.

            • (5) Some psychology teaches
    that opposites in personality attract in courtship. This often seems to be true. We question if that is always good as far as the ministry is concerned or marital happiness. Be alert for this.

            • (6) Before you become
    so bold as "to pop the question," you ought to spend long hours in serious thought and wrestling with God in prayer. Once the decision is made there should be no breaking of the engagement except in very unusual circumstances.

          • g. For a young man
    in Bible College just out of high school we can see no good reason for him to marry until he graduates from college at least. Any earlier time and it is bound to effect his training adversely. It does not automatically mean dropping his ministerial intent, though not a few have failed at this point, but it is almost certain to mean less obtained out of whatever remaining schooling he has.

        • 3. Number of children.

          • a. Again we take it for granted
    that a pastor and wife will plan on having children. This will be expected and wanted. We question starting the family before through with ministerial training. For a family adds a burden to the training.

          • b. In several generations
    past large families were the rule rather than the exception especially in rural areas where most of the food was raised and clothes were at a minimum. In a vastly changed social and urban living relationships, large families usually meant deprived children. If they do not suffer from physical deprivation then social pressures become harmful.

    Again let everyone do as they feel God would have them. We suggest more than one and four the maximum. In this we are not critizing or judging anyone else. God may have other plans for some families. However, we are entering into fearful times. Remember no child asks to come into this world. It is a fearsome responsibility to bring them in. If it were only a matter that babies are darling and little children are so cute, there would be no difficulty.

      • B. Home Relationships.

        • 1. Early months of Marriage.

          • a.Should be marked
    with many happy and carefree experiences.

          • b. Will also find
    a number of adjustments necessary as husband and wife idiosyncrasies surface. Patience must be the watchword with willingness to "take" as well as "give." Will find wife a creature of more highly strung emotions Some cry rather easily.

          • c. The intimate relationship
    calls for great patience on the part of the husband who should recognize that the dedicated Christian girl comes to this experience with an entirely different psychology than he. She will be shy, reserved and apprehensive in contrast to the male eagerness in this area. Patience, love and more patience should be exercised. A few months before marriage each should read several volumes on sex relationships in marriage. We especially recommend Van de Velde, Ideal Marriage, but there are many others.

          • d. Before marriage,
    family planning in terms of children should be discussed. Suggestion is made not to begin family while still in school. We think tangible means to insure family planning is not unScriptural and is most sensible and logical.

          • e. If children are not
    in the immediate plans then by all means the wife should have employment of some sort. She will be desperately lonely otherwise with the husband gone all day and she having little to do.

          • f. Careful arrangements
    as to finances should be made before marriage and serious consideration given to budgeting to curb extravagances.

          • g. Learn immediately
    to compliment one another and shower appreciation for the others work as well as expressing love continually.

          • h. Young husbands should
    understand that the young wife is going to want companionship after marriage. So many fellows are so eager to be with their girlfriends before marriage that all other obligations are made subservient. Then after marriage fellows not infrequently and suddently do an about face and become very negligent in taking time to do things with their wife.

        • 2. Exemplary features of a Pastor s home.

          • a. Family devotions.

            • (1) Should be started immediately upon marriage.

            • (2) Mealtime probably the best.

            • (3) Children should be worked in as soon as old enough to participate.

            • (4) Use Bible story books for small children also.

          • b. Housekeeping
    should show both consistent neatness and cleanliness.

            • (1) Laxness inexcusable.

            • (2) Ready for any unexpected guests.

          • c. Pastor and wife and children
    should be examples of patience in their relationships with each other.

          • d. While a Pastor's family
    does not do a lot of entertaining, there should always be a sense of welcome to his people when they visit his home. Hospitality should be the keyword of the pastor's home.

          • e. Occasionally some individuals
    will make themselves pests at the pastor's residence and these must be dealt with very kindly though firmly.

        • 3. The parsonage arrangement.

          • a. More and more churches
    are giving the pastor a housing allowance so he can purchase his own home. We believe this best if possible. If the church has a membership of 75 they should be able to pay sufficiently to make this possible.

          • b. However, we believe,
    that if the pastor owns his own home it should be on the tax roll and not deviously put under the church's name.

          • c. If a church has a parsonage,
    they may want the pastor to live in it and this is an arrangement that must be clearly spelled out before the pastor comes. We heard of a church recently that sold its parsonage, banked the money, and uses the interest to pay the pastor a housing allowance to purchase his own home.

          • d. Some churches have parsonages
    adjacent to the church or as a part of the church building complex.

            • (1) Many men feel
    that this means a difficult situation if not intolerable.

            • (2) It should not be a hard situation.
    In fact, if a pastor and his family will condition their thinking in a positive way a good number of advantages can be reaped from living close to the church building.

        • 4. Family features.

          • a. The pastor and wife
    must have their family as a model of discipline. This starts at least as early as age nine months.

          • b. Similarly
    they must be an example of a loving family relationship.

          • c. Similarly
    they must be an example of dedication to Christ.

          • d. Similarly
    they must be conditioned to be willing to accept in stride both the minuses and the pluses of being on exhibit constantly as the pastor's family.

          • e. It will enhance
    the pastors ministry if he can inculcate in his children the spirit and attitude that they also are a vital part of that ministry and should be willing thus to make some sacrifices to do so and should be alert for opportunities to serve. They should also be reminded that such a ministry brings them extra blessings both spiritual and temporal.

          • f. Family problems of the pastor
    must be kept private and children must be taught early the sanctity and confidential nature of family affairs.

          • g. A pastor may often
    use family experiences to illustrate messages but he must be scrupulously careful not to embarrass anyone of the family in so doing. He must observe this principle just as strictly as he would do so concerning anyone else in the church.

        • 5. Family responsibilities of the pastor.

          • a. Primary.

            • (1) Scripturally required.

            • (2) Sometimes temporary family sacrifices necessary.

          • b. Planned attention.

            • (1) Physical and material

            • (2) Recreational

            • (3) Parental love.

    • VI. DEVOTIONAL LIFE. ( Pastor's own privacy)

      • A. Pitfalls.

        • l. Easiest rationalization of old nature
    is that in the midst of so many, almost countless demands on his time for the Pastor to shelve this most basic need.

        • 2. Always a tendency to feel
    that time spent in message preparation is sufficient for Scripture reading.

        • 3. Always tendency to feel
    that one's over all knowledge of Scripture is sufficient

        • 4. Always a tendency to believe
    one can pray adequate "on the run" and "after all God knows the sincereity of my heart, " and I would pray if I had time, and moreover I am busy in the Lord's work and thus God understands my lack of time."

      • B. Routine.

        • 1. Regular but briefly at early morning rising.

        • 2. Systematic at the office -
    first thing before beginning work.

        • 3. One pastor I know
    "skims" 20 chapters each morning before prayer.

        • 4. Adopt a memory system
    and stick to it. At least one verse a day.

        • 5. Never finish devotions
    without feeling the Holy Spirit has filled your heart and soul.

        • 6. Keep a current prayer list.

        • 7. Claim great blessings in prayer on your face.

A Testimony to Dr Weeks by Pastor Montgomery
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