The Furtherance of the Gospel

“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel…  ”   (Philippians 1:12)

Paul is in prison as he writes to his favorite church.  While he was free he preached the gospel with passion and great zeal, but when he was put in prison and could not preach other men in the Church at Philippi began preaching.  That rejoiced the heart of the apostle.

In the New Testament when you study the letters of Paul and others you find that the early churches had pastors.  Anytime the word pastor is found it is in the plural unless it is referring to Jesus Christ.  He is the great Shepherd of the sheep; otherwise, churches have pastors.  Strictly speaking you will not find a precedent for “Dr. Pete Bunny the pastor of the First Community Church of Chicago” in the New Testament.

I am convinced that the first churches also had a plurality of preachers.  That’s why the fact that many men in the Church at Philippi were preaching rejoiced the heart of the apostle.   Church is a team sport.  Based on their cluster of spiritual gifts some are called and equipped to preach.  They should preach.  Some should heal, some should teach and some should evangelize.  All of this should result in the furtherance of the gospel.

Our churches would be more effective in furthering the gospel and we would solve so very many problems if we took our blueprints from the New Testament.  We would not need as many retreat centers for burned out pastors if we did.

When will we ever learn that when all else fails we should follow the directions?

4 Responses to The Furtherance of the Gospel

  1. Cindy Kranich says:

    Dad,
    Remember the metal plack that was nailed into the front of your large wooden pulpit that read, “Sir, we would see Jesus!” If every pastor preaching sermons to their congregations today had those words in front of them, what a difference it would make. “Sirs, we would see JESUS!!”

  2. Art Jensen says:

    So very true, Dick! Church leaders, both clergy and lay, would benefit by reading Ephesians 4: 10-15!

  3. Pamela Janaro says:

    Over the summer, many fine “pastors” have been in the pulpit at Williamsburg Community Chapel. Thanks for giving Biblical validation to this effort. The practice has resulted in excitement and boldness for the the Word and for Jesus, not the messenger.
    God gets all the glory!

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