Vol.VI No.IX Pg.2
November 1969

Our Full Time Needs

Robert F. Turner

On page 5, we have an article that may draw fire. Preachers are sensitive creatures, and sometimes react exactly like other members who feel the pinch of a tight-fitting shoe.

We are aware that Why Quit? aims a barb in the direction of motive — and we know we can not accurately judge motives. Nor do we mean to try. We challenge each preacher who has quit to examine his own motives and be his own honest critic. We write as we do because we see a crying need for more dedicated, hard-working full-time preachers.

But the blame does not belong wholly with the preachers. We see churches that suffer for lack of a full-time sense of obligation. In their swing away from the over-organized, social-club churchanity of the liberal movement, they have become content with keeping house for the Lord. It suits them fine for the preacher to make his living selling insurance, and the reduced church activity gives them more time to make an extra dollar. If the sermons are stale, Bible study in a comfortable rut, they blame it on economic circumstances, and sleep on.

Then, we should not leave this subject without paying respects to the growing number of men who work at secular jobs, but give unselfishly of their time to fill the gap made by the preacher shortage. They recognize the limitations imposed by their dual role — realize such part-time activity can not fill the place of a life devoted completely to study, teaching and preaching — but they deprive themselves of vacations, after-hours relaxation time, and quiet Sunday afternoons to prepare lessons and preach in places that otherwise would have little teaching.

I am finding more and more elders who take their work seriously, and put long hours into preparing Bible lessons, and visiting members who are in need of assistance. Perhaps some of these were once full—time preachers who, for reasons best known to them, now support themselves in the commercial world. We appreciate their efforts. In fact, our writing is not presented to attack the part-time preacher, but to urge the necessity for more full-time workers.

Years ago advocates of mutual- edification stressed a sound Bible principle — that all saints should be teachers, and that participation in public worship developed talents. But churches died on the vine as poorly prepared men built hobbies and factions. Dont let it happen again!!