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This Internet version of To Be A Minister is textually identical to the printed version. This version is intended for reading directly from the internet or copying onto your hard drive for personal ministry use and help.  No portion of this book may be reproduced on paper nor further published without permission, but the links showing the original web address may be forwarded to other ministers of like precious faith for their personal use.  No copies whether printed or electronically copied may be downloaded without the copy below of the original Copyright  and notice of the Library of Congress Catalog Card Number, but may freely be downloaded to hard drive or printer and printed out on standard looseleaf notebook sixe for individual use so long as no word of text is changed and the Copyright notice is given.
To Be A



First Edition

Copyright ©  1989 by Up Way Publications

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without approval of the publisher, Up Way Publications, excepting for brief quotations giving full credit and Copyright  © notice.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 89-51601

P.O.Box 1015
Kailua, Hawaii 96734

Page numbers refer to page numbers in the original paperback printed book


Foreword....................   i
Why Do You Want To Be A Minister?.....  1
The Ministry Is Not All Fun!*..........  5
How To Have The Original Apostle's Power.. 13
How To Conduct Spiritual Services...... 21
How To Preach Anointed Sermons....... 27
How to Deal With Problems in the Church.. 35
The Importance of Music To The Service.... 45
Standard Ceremonies.............. 49
   Communion.................. 49
   Water Baptism................ 51
   Marriages................... 56
   Dedications (Babies)............. 69
   Dedications (Buildings)........... 78
   Benedictions.................. 79
   Ordination.................. 86
   Funerals................... 94
   Additional Resources............ 98

4                             To Be A Minister  To Be A Minister 
How To Conduct Spiritual Services

  TO HAVE POWERFUL SERVICES, services to which needy people come to our Lord Jesus Christ by the hundreds or even thousands, the Holy Spirit must fully control every service. But if you have not spent time in travailing prayer, studying God’s word and earnestly seeking God’s guidance in every word you speak, every prayer you pray, and every song you sing in each and every service, you need not expect that power and anointing. Then, if you come into the service without any plan, no order of songs to tie with the message, no sermon outline or list of scriptures that tie to a theme or basic line of thought, you bring discredit to our Lord instead of honor.
  If the thing you want to do is truly inspired of the Holy Spirit, it cannot fail, because God cannot fail. So if you ask God for something, or if you are claiming a promise that doesn’t come to pass, look to see how YOU failed to meet God’s requirements to receive it. Then, whatever happens, “...rejoice evermore...in everything, give thanks.”
  Don’t try to reproduce the move of the Holy Spirit by repeatedly singing the song you sang that seemed to bring everyone in the place into a state of spiritual euphoria in the last service, or by repeating a form or ritual. Tonight, you may lead the song, “Search me, Oh God and know my heart I pray,” and the people begin to weep and pray in the Spirit and the altar to fill with those who realize that they have not been giving their best to Jesus. But tomorrow, especially if they have made a complete rededication in the previous service, the song may produce a “ho-hum, when do we get to the Word” that you find disappointing if you were looking for a big move of the Spirit.
  The little song, “I Shall Not Be Moved,” is not usually thought of as one that will bring down the house in spiritual worship, but I have seen one campmeeting service in which the Lord used that song to bring the exuberance and joy that resulted in the service breaking wide open in a move of the Spirit. Later, when the same group tried the same song , it fizzled.
  So what can you, as a minister do to assure truly spiritual services? The answer is found in the word “pray.” The word “pray” as used by the Apostle Paul in the passage, “Pray without ceasing,” I Thessalonians 5:17 does not mean that you must spend all your time down on your knees crying out to God, “Meet this need and that and give us revival.” Prayer is communion with God in all forms. This includes reading and studying the Bible, God’s inspired word to “hear” Him speak to you; prayers of worship and adoration as you see a lofty mountain, the crashing of ocean waves against the shore or a rose petal or a tiny baby’s fingers as they grasp your own; prayers of thanksgiving for all God’s previous blessings; prayers of petition, as for a better house or car or even your next meal; and hearing Him speak to you through sermons, prophecy, interpretation of tongues, personal testimonies of others, or listening to the still, small voice within you. In other words, surrounding yourself with God and His presence so that you respond instantly to His leading.
  When you, as a minister enter the church, tabernacle, jail cell, hospital room or any other place where a service is to be held, you should be “in the Spirit” so that those around you can feel it and sense it if they are spiritually alert. You cannot bring a spirit of revival in your suitcase, but you can be immersed in the Spirit yourself and that condition does tend to be “catching.” An “amen” by you to something the songleader or someone testifying or a point in a prayer by another person may be the trigger that fires off a responsive chord in the hearts of the majority of those in the service and a sweep of the Holy Spirit that will bring conviction, repentance and real revival. It is in this move of the Spirit of God that miracles of healing and deliverance from demonic oppression and drug and alcohol and spouse abuse happen  instantaneously and outsiders come flocking in to see this great thing that is happening by the power of God. 
  Never, never should you ever take credit for nor make merchandise of any miracles of healing or deliverance 

God does through your ministry, no matter how much you have fasted and prayed for that particular miracle to happen.  You are still just an unprofitable servant who has merely done that which He has required of you.
  One thing you will need for your church to grow is for the community to learn to have confidence in you as a person who sincerely cares and is willing to get involved if someone needs help, or there is a community problem. Jesus set you an example in the four Gospels and the Apostle Peter says that “...ye should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21). So, would YOU get involved if someone needed help? You know Jesus would. He went about doing good, healing the sick (all that came to Him), delivering those in bondage to Satan.Will you?
  Your opinions, personal belief or feelings cannot alter or change spiritual reality no matter how firmly you believe nor how strong your feelings. Certain things that God has already declared firmly in His word are as unchangeable as sunrise and sunset, which may seem to change as different cloud formations change colors and shapes, but the sun is unchanging in its course through the universe and the earth still rotates the same way and follows a definite seasonal pattern. Likewise, your circumstances may change and you may do wrong or make a mistake and still see the sunshine. That mistake or error on your part may not mature from seed to fruiting tree in the first moments or even weeks or years, but you can be absolutely sure your sin will find you out! (Numbers 32:23).
   God’s promises of blessings, while most are conditional that if you will obey and honor Him, He will do or bless you, are equally unchangeable and sure. If you meet His conditions, it doesn’t matter what storm cloud of adversity; what ache, pain or symptom Satan throws in your way to make you doubt, how stubbornly the car refuses to start or run or any other felt or visible indicator that Satan may use to come at you with, “Yea, hath God [really] said?” God will surely do what He has promised and no demon from hell can stop Him!!
  Our archenemy, Satan, knows that if he can get us to doubt God, he can drive a wedge into our faith in God. He therefore wages constant warfare against our minds. One of his best tools is our own lack of knowledge of the Word of God. If we only half-way know and understand a scriptural doctrine, it is then easy for him to say, “...yea, hath God said,” and we begin to wonder if we properly understood what God said. Did He really mean for us to live holy lives? Did He really pay for our salvation and healing? Does He really want to fill us with the Holy Ghost and power? Does Jesus really care when your heart is breaking?
  Now consider who Satan uses to mount his attacks on the minds of Christians. It is the well-trained, the educated, the scholar of the world who uses skill, logic and salesmanship to convince the Christian that his God really doesn’t mean what He says in His Word. It is not true that “Ignorance is bliss.” It is a recipe for being walked on, losing your spiritual victory and power of the Holy Spirit. Often these may call us a cult, when it is they who do not believe the Bible as it is clearly written!
  As a minister, you are on the front line of the battle between Satan and God. You need to study and learn all you can about your Lord and Master, and so be ready to give answer for the Hope that lies within you (1 Peter 3:15). To be ready to answer the slick salesmanlike tactics that the cults, including some of the largest denominations, use against you.
  What has all this to do with having Spiritual services? Everything! Spiritual services are expensivethat the price to be paid is the battles you have fought and won. If you have not fought any battles and won, who will come to hear you preach or teach? If you are not full of the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of the Word, who will listen when you speak? Many battles will have to be fought and won on your knees in effectual, fervent, travailing prayer. Others will have to be fought as you search the pages of God’s word for answers to questions that have been hurled at you. Still others will be hand-to-hand combat with demon powers that come openly against you in services and challenge your authority and power to rebuke them. And as in Jesus’ day, some demons can be cast out only by fasting and prayer (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29).
5                             To Be A Minister  To Be A Minister 
 How To Preach Anointed Sermons

STUDY and know God’s Word thoroughly. The Holy Spirit can only bring to your remembrance what you have already read, studied or learned! Pray until the power of the Holy Spirit overpowers your own thoughts. To be effective, our sermons MUST be anointed by the Holy Ghost and delivered in His Power. But if the Lord inspires a sermon thought to you and gives you one or several key scriptures on that subject, it does not mean that you should just be satisfied to get into the pulpit without any prayer or study and “open thy mouth wide and I will fill it, saith the Lord.” (This is slight a corruption of Psalm 81:10). I hear far too many sermons in which serious errors of plainly written Bible facts are given and sometimes good and valid truths are  preached even from these misstated facts, but the impact is lost on people who know the original fact as the Bible has stated it. As an example, a minister who, I must say was proud of his ignorance, based much of one sermon upon what the wisest man ever, King Solomon told his son David!!! I am sure the man really loves the Lord and he probably did have the leading of the Holy Spirit when he first started thinking about that sermon but the basic idea and truth he tried to communicate was lost because just about everyone was too busy thinking about his glaring error for the majority of his sermon and his real point was missed.
  Be careful about making promises on God’s behalf that God Himself did not make. Many promises were specifically to one person, such as Abraham or Jacob or Moses. Many more were to the nation of Israel. Some are to the church of Jesus Christ as a whole from the day of Pentecost until today. Still others are to all that believe on Jesus Christ, individually and personally. Some of those made to a specific individual named in the Bible may also be applied to the church or to you and me today, but “And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a  nation, because he is thy seed,” (Genesis 21:13) obviously was not meant for each and every one of us today! It was given to Abraham in a specific situation.
  Be careful of using the expression,  “I believe.” It is fine for you to believe whatever you want to believe, and what you believe may either be right “on the money” or partly right or even completely wrong. But what you believe will not change reality! For what you believe to have valid significance to your hearers, they must know by what real authority you speak. The demoniac who tore up the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19: 13-17) said, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?” But Peter and John told the man at the Gate Beautiful, “Such as I have, give I thee. In the Name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk.” The difference was in the authority. Peter KNEW he HAD the authority of Jesus Christ to say what he said. The sons of Sceva did not know nor did they have that authority and essentially said, “I believe you demons should come out of that man in the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” But at Jesus’ ministry, “... they marvelled because He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes and Pharisees.”
  I often hear a minister who speaks on the radio daily and who says many really good things, but he nearly always says, “I believe” and by doing so loses much authority, force, power and a great deal of credibility.
  It does not matter what you believe, but what ‘Thus saith the Lord your God.’ If you know God’s Word and speak God’s Word you need have no fear that His Word will ever fail. What you believe can fail. Study to show yourself approved unto Him and to those to whom He sends you. But never say, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ if He has not said it, lest the woes spoken by the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 23 come upon you.
  In  Jude 3, we are charged to contend earnestly for the faith. In John 7:24, Jesus tells us to judge righteously. Many believe that when Jesus said, “Judge not,” He put a period there, but His statement continues , “lest ye be judged, for with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1).
  A great many “Apostolic” ministers know that we teach repentance and water baptism in Jesus name, but do not know how to reconcile that truth with the scriptures used to teach salvation by belief or faith alone. (I recommend a study of Foundations Firm Bible Study Quarterly Book One lessons 1 through 5.) If you will study the following paragraph until you fully understand it, you should be able to give answer to any who challenge your belief in Repentance, Jesus name baptism and the baptism and infilling of the Holy Spirit as being completely necessary to salvation.
  Notice that on the Day of Pentecost as described in the second chapter of Acts, it was the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit [footnote 10] that gave the spectacular sign which resulted in the crowd being drawn to the area of the Upper Room (vss. 1 - 4). A crowd which marvelled that though they all were devout Jews and all knew the common tongue, each heard the ignorant and unlearned men of Galilee speaking the glory of God in the languages of the nations from which they had returned (vss. 5 - 11). In response to the question, “What meaneth this?” (vs 12), Peter stood up as spokesman for the 120 and for the Holy Spirit and preached a mighty, anointed sermon which brought his hearers to believe that they were the sinners who had rejected and crucified the Lord (vs 36), whom he identified to them as Jesus the Messiah. Because they had already believed, they were“pricked in their heart (we call it becoming under conviction, today) and said, ‘Men and brethren, what must we do?’” Because they had already believed and been convicted of their sin, the Apostle Peter told them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
  Repentance is not only being sorry for your sins (failing to live up to God’s plan and purpose for your life, which is to reflect His glory and honor), but it is also the turning away from sin and self to live for Him.

  The New Testament, especially Luke and Acts and the writings of the Apostle Paul were originally in Greek. The Greek word baptizo (baptizo)  was not translated from the Greek by the King James Bible translators because the church in their day was practicing what the Greeks would call cheo (cheo)  which means “pour” as from a pitcher and also rhantizo (rhantizo)  which means “to sprinkle”. It could easily have cost the translators their lives and prevented the publication of their work if they had given the real meaning of the word baptizo  which is to bury or to immerse, as in a liquid, because the church of that day was totally intolerant of opposition to their teachings. History gives many examples of the brutal executions of those who wanted to read the Bible and understand it apart from the accepted teachings of the church.
  It is important that you, as a minister fully understand this, because the Apostle Paul likened baptism to the certification of death of the “old man” or sin nature which died in repentance and its burial with Jesus Christ, but in a watery or symbolic grave. You do not bury a living person, but only one that is dead and certified to be dead. Then, like our “Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to the glory of the Father, so we should rise to walk in newness of life.” (See Romans 6:1-8; Galatians 3:26,27; Colossians 2:11-13).
  There is some controversy over the meaning of the word for  in the statement, “... for the remission of sins.” English language dictionaries list up to 32 definitions of the word for  and the exact meaning in any case requires that you know the setting or context in which it is used. The context here is that the question, ‘Men and brethren, what must we do?’ has been asked and the answer is being given. It does not make any sense at all to say “because of” in this context. Only “to get,” “to obtain,” or “to receive” fit the context here.
  Remission is not some obscure word, but means exactly the same thing as forgiveness with one additional meaning, the cessation or stopping of the symptoms of a disease. In this case, it is the disease of sin  from which we are freed from the symptoms and effects.
  “... and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Please notice that it does not say, “... then go tarry,  weep and pray and if you are serious enough with God, He might fill you with the Holy Ghost.” We have the entire Bible as proof that God is reaching out to show us His love and His will for our lives. He wants to fill you with the Holy Spirit more than you want to be filled. You can not show one single scripture that teaches “tarrying” for the Holy Ghost after the day of Pentecost. If a person fails to receive the evidence of the Holy Ghost after his burial with Jesus Christ in baptism, you will find one of the following: 1) lack of real belief in his or her own sinfulness and complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation; 2) failure to wholeheartedly repent and forsake all of the old sin nature; 3) looking for the gift, instead of
surrendering to and loving the Giver of the gift; or 4) concern about what it will feel like or sound like and not concentrating on worship of and consecration to our Lord Jesus Christ.
  You need to realize that lack of complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that His promises cannot fail is the reason we do not see many miracles of healing, demons being cast out and the power and glory of God revealed in the lives of every “believer” today. 
  Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Substance is something solid, physically evident. Faith sees the things which are not as though they were, through the Holy Spirit, and because of that trust in God’s promises, the thing hoped for for the glory of God through our wellbeing materializes into solid fact.  As soon as it has become fact, both the hope for and the faith to believe for the material fact is no longer needed, because you have the solid material in hand. Before you get into the airplane for your first ride, it requires faith to believe that this thing can fly  and carry you, but when you are looking down on the clouds from 36,000 feet and travelling over 500 miles in an hour, it takes no more faith, because you have received the fact. 
  Evidence is what you use in court to prove the facts of the case. But God’s promise must be understood from the standpoint that He will do the thing we ask only if it is for our good and His glory. It will be beneficial if you study James 4:1-3, and especially note the passage, “...ye have not because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. ”  We can know that if we ask anything we really need that is for our good and His glory, we will receive. The ministry today needs to wake up to the fact that while God is also a God of wrath who will judge sin and wickedness sternly, He is also a God of love who wants to do good things for those who love, serve and honor Him in this life. 
  Three things you MUST do to Preach Anointed Sermons are: 1) BELIEVE GOD; 2) Read and study the Bible daily; 3) Pray  earnest, effectual fervent prayers.

  A few thoughts you may find useful:

• God IS for us, but are we for Him or for ourselves?

• As a minister and as a Christian, are you a stepping stone or a stumbling block?

• Gravity is still the law  even though we have learned to fly and shoot rockets into space orbit as satellites. So all of God’s other laws are still in place even if we seem to be getting away with violating them. But there is always a price to pay for violating every law.

• Some people come to church to close their eyes while others come to eye the clothes!

• An Olympic medal is won, not by how many times you fall down, but by how often you get up and how long you keep going.

6                                To Be A Minister  To Be A Minister 
How To Deal With Problems
in the Church

No matter how fine and how spiritual your church is, there will be times when interpersonal, spiritual, financial or other problems will crop up in The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ over the which you are shepherd or pastor. And no matter how many different problems I try to cover in this little book, others will still arise that I never thought of and which you will have to turn over to the Lord and simply trust Him to solve for you. In fact, that is the best advice for most problems in the church -- turn them over to the Lord in prayer and believe Him, completely TRUST   Him to solve them.
•  Never forget that you stand in the pulpit in the place and stead of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and that He has entrusted the people to whom you minister into your hands and will require them again at your hands. 
  Some of the problems you may face are:
Q. Should I incorporate the church and if so must I have formal membership requirements?
A. Many Jesus’ name and Apostolic Pentecostal churches the resist the idea of having people join their churches and have what is often referred to as “open membership” in which any person who attends several times faithfully is considered a member and if any church matter comes up that the pastor does not arbitrarily decide what shall be done, will permit anyone present who has been coming several times in a row to vote. 
 The opposite is the “closed membership” which requires members to sign or at least verbally agree to a statement including the doctrinal position, a code of moral and ethical conduct which states that they may be expelled for violations of those standards, and sometimes an agreement for specified monetary support for the church.
   Legally, in most states and many countries, “open membership” does not meet legal requirements for incorporation and recognition as tax exempt, and may be questioned or refused by the (U.S.) Internal Revenue Service. (See Additional Resources in the back of the book.)  Of course, some churches do not care about the tax exemption, and it would not matter in such a case, but if the church is about to buy property, it also must be incorporated if it wants to borrow money to buy or build in most cases. So there is a legal advantage in having “closed membership”. 
  Additionally, there is the takeover situation which must be considered. As long as the pastor has the complete confidence of his people and total control of all activities and expenditures of the church, he can simply tell anyone he finds trying to come in to take over to get out. But if there is a board, whether appointed by the pastor (not legal by IRS standards), or elected, and there is not also a clear doctrinal statement in the corporate constitution or by-laws, there is a very real danger  that if God really starts to move in the church through the pastor, some jealous church member may bring in an outside minister and attempt to get the founding pastor out and a new pastor in who will follow that member’s wishes (‘...teachers  having itching ears’ 2 Timothy 4:3). I have seen this happen three times (once to me) in churches and it can happen to you. I strongly recommend a dissolution clause in your church constitution and by-laws which will allow no tampering with the original doctrinal statement to avoid any possibility of a group of people of another belief from suddenly showing up and becoming members for the express purpose of changing your doctrine. Please believe me, this has happened.
Q. How do I get or select good teachers, elders and ministerial assistants?
A. Pray, then pray some more. First that God send qualified or teachable saints into your flock (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2) and then that He will point out their talents and callings to you. If someone, usually a lady or teenage girl in your church, loves and has a burden for children, is sound in knowledge of  the Word of God, and faithful in attendance, that is a good teacher candidate. (Use only the VERY BEST teachers for the classes from preschool to about 8 or 9 years old, as these are the years in which the children are forming learning and study habits that will go with them for the rest of their lives!) You should be able to tell if someone has the ability to impart knowledge, to share God’s word with an anointing that brings conviction or faith or to serve and inspire confidence. The one who can share or impart knowledge should be used to teach; the one with the anointing on sharing the Word is clearly a preacher, and the one able to wait tables or take the offering or clean the washrooms and at the same time inspire confidence in the providence of God is good deacon material.
Q. What do I do when someone speaks out in a preaching or teaching service and says, “Preacher, that’s not right!”
A. It will depend on several factors, and you will need to be “...wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16). Sometimes it is best to try to ignore them. One of the factors you will have to consider instantly is what impact the statement will have on visitors and new babes in Christ and upon your own credibility as an authority figure in Jesus’ stead. Another very important factor you will have to decide instantly is whether you were right in your original statement or if they have made a valid point.
• If the point they have made is valid and you realize that you made an error, you will need to acknowledge that their point is
 well taken and humbly enlarge upon the truth of the matter, trying to keep a sweet and loving and Christlike spirit. After all, none of us is perfect yet -- just forgiven!
• If they were wrong, you must decide whether to correct the error immediately to prevent its spread in the congregation, firmly, but gently and in a meek, humble and Christlike spirit, or whether it will cause no problem in the church to wait and speak to them later both about their own mistaken belief and also about being out of order.
• If the person interrupting is known for that sort of thing and is usually wrong or is of an argumentative spirit, it may be necessary to tell them firmly to: “Please be seated and keep silence, NOW. And I’ll see you in my office after service.”
• If it is a stranger, you will need to sense by the Holy Spirit whether they are sincere in what they believe that is contrary to what you know the Word teaches, or if they have come with the intention to disrupt the service or plant a seed of error or discord within the flock of God. If they are sincere, be as gentle about correcting the error as possible but by all means do correct any error that could cause a problem in the flock if left uncorrected. Then gently invite them to meet with you for Bible studies as quickly as possible.
• If the person clearly is there to disrupt, speak with your full authority and power as Jesus’ own undershepherd of the flock to command the discord sower to be seated and silent or to leave and with equal firmness deal with the error of doctrine.
Q. What do I do if I am not preaching or teaching in a service and the person who is teaching or preaching makes an error of fact or doctrine?
A.  Be sure you are led of the Holy Spirit whichever way you go. If you are pastor, and the error serious, you may be justified to stop the service and correct the error, but if you do, you will most likely alienate the other minister. Remember Jesus’ own words, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to the other.” (John 13:35). If it is at all possible, make a written note to yourself of the exact wording of the error and of the actual teaching in the Bible immediately, while it is fresh on your mind and so that the other person cannot say you misunderstood what he was saying. Then, in the privacy of your office or other place alone, try to share the truth with him in a spirit of meekness. Only if he refuses to hear you should you directly tell him that he is in error and if he still persists in error, follow Jesus’ directions found in Matthew 5:23 and 24 and 18:15-17. (See also 1 Thessalonians 5:12.)

• If you are visiting another church known for teaching the true Apostles’ doctrine and it is the pastor of that church who makes the error do NOT embarrass him by an immediate confrontation in front of his own congregation, but go to him alone and try to share the truth. If he is a real man of God, he should accept your instruction with thanks. If not, and he still persists in error, follow Jesus’ directions found in Matthew 5:23 and 24 and 18:15-17, let him know you still love him as a brother in Christ and will be praying for him, but that neither you nor the members of your church will be coming to fellowship again so long as he persists in the error.
• If he  happens to be right, agree with thanks that he has showed you a new truth in Jesus Christ and gladly learn thereby.
Q. What if two members of my church get into an argument or have a serious disagreement?
A. Remember that you are NOT the judge, but only a referee. Be completely honest with both parties in the disagreement and try to lead them in the directions of Jesus found in Matthew 5:23 and 24 and 18:15-17.  If either refuses to hear you and still persists in error, follow the Matthew18:15-17 passage to the final end. (See also, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 6:1-8; 1 Timothy 1:18-20; and Titus 3:10, 11, where the Apostle Paul also deals with the matter.)

Q. I have this person in my church that always keeps coming to me with the same problem over and over and can’t seem to ever get the victory over it. What can I do?
A. Be patient and try to have the mind of the Holy Spirit as you deal with the situation. Remember the words of James, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:19). The fact that they keep coming to you is at least a positive sign that they recognize the problem and want God to help them overcome it. Even after the first time a person comes with a problem, you should both pray and research the Bible for the solution to their situation. Remember the words of James,“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16).
Q. I have this person in my church that has a problem with a specific sin (alcohol, smoking, fornication, drugs, stealing or perhaps abusive conduct) from which they cannot seem to get deliverance..
A. As in the last question, the fact that they keep coming to you is at least a positive sign that they recognize the problem and want God to help them overcome it. Much wisdom, prayer and study of the Word of God will surely be required of you as pastor. Many times the answer may lie in the fact that they have not yet become wholehearted in their desire to be delivered, but not always. You could also be dealing with demon possession or demon oppression and it may require not only the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man but fasting and prayer to cast out the demon and command him to leave the person.
Q. I have a problem with keeping the church finances in order. Also, there never seems to be enough money to meet all the church’s expenses.
A.  At least one member of your congregation should be able to keep budgets and financial records. Make the most qualified member church treasurer, whether your church is governed by you, as pastor, or by a board, appointed by you or elected by the membership. For expert Christian financial advice, you may also want to contact:  Christian Financial Concepts, Larry Birkett, Route 5, Box 4184, Dahlonega, GA 30533; 
Q. I have a couple in my church whose marriage is “on the rocks.” How can I help them?
A.  First of all, determine whether there is any abusive conduct on the part of either spouse. This will be pivotal as to whether you try for an immediate reconciliation or recommend a time of separation until the abusive one overcomes that problem. Then, remember that marriage is ordained of God to be for life. Selfishness on the part of one or both spouses is the primary cause of all marriage difficulties. A copy of my book Marriage: Delight or Disaster will give you many insights into all sorts of situations and how to solve marriage problems, and makes a worthwhile gift for newlyweds, married couples and divorced persons, as well. (See Additional Resources in the back of the book.) An illustration I often use when talking with couples is given on the next two pages. 


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