2006 © Timothy Stone. Image from
A few years ago I was sitting with an old Pastor who had labored faithfully in one congregation for decades and yet had seen little or no “growth” in his flock. I asked him if he ever got jealous when he saw other congregations growing and other ministers being used in the salvation of souls. “I used to,” he replied, “and I still long to be a blessing to precious souls. However I came to realize that while God’s work through me was important, God’s work in me was even more important.” I was puzzled and asked him to expand a bit. “Well, I have come to realize that God may have put me into the ministry primarily for my own sanctification.” This startling thought has often encouraged me in my low times. And it has kept a check on me in times of blessing too. The Christian Church has all too many examples of men who have focused on God’s working through them, to the neglect of God’s work in them. Fellow pastors and preachers, God has called you into the ministry not only to work through you but also (primarily?) to work in you. As you face another Sunday pastoring your flock, with all its challenges, frustrations, and disappointments, remember this memorable image painted by Dave Evans: “Work is God’s sandbox. He invites His children to play together in ways that help to grow them into who they are to become.”

You can read Dave Evans excellent article on work here.

  • JonnyDHunt

    I have seldom been so stunned and blessed by a blog article. Thank you for these precious and encouraging thoughts.

  • David Murray

    Thanks Jonny. I have never forgotten that encounter and it has helped me many times.