“Make your preacher a minister of the word. Fling him into his office, tear the office sign from the door and nail on it the sign: STUDY. Take him off the mailing list, lock him up with his books. Get him all kind of books, and his Bible. Slam him down on his knees before texts, broken hearts, flippant lives of a superficial flock, and the Holy God. Force him to be the one in the community who knows God. Throw him into the ring to box with God till he learns how short his arms are; engage him to wrestle with God all the night through. Let him come out only when he is bruised and beaten into being a blessing. Set a time clock on him that will imprison him with thought and writing about God for 60 hrs. a week. Shut his big mouth forever spouting `remarks’ and stop his tongue always tripping lightly over everything non-essential. Require him to have something to say before he dare break silence. Bend his knees in the lonesome valley, fire him from the PTA and cancel his country club membership; burn his eyes with weary study, wreck his emotional poise with worry for God, and make him exchange his pious stance for a humble walk with God and man. Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Rip out his telephone, burn up his ecclesiastical success sheets, refuse his glad hand, and put water in the gas tank of his community buggy. Give him a Bible and tie him in his pulpit and make him preach the word of the living God. Test him, quiz him, and examine him; humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine, and shame him for his glib comprehension of finances, batting averages, and political in-fighting. Laugh at his frustrated attempts to play psychiatrist, scorn his insipid morality, ignore his broadmindedness, and compel him to be a minister of the Word!
When my friend Dan M (a student at Hope Int’l Univ) read these words on my other blog, he said, “I don’t want to be a preacher!!” Neither should any of us, Dan, unless we are called to be by God.