Lessons for a Young Pastor: Do Personal Work

Every pastor needs a pastor, especially young pastors.  Timothy had Paul, and for young pastors today we have a wealth of experienced pastors (both past and present) to teach us through books, blogs and talks.

As a young pastor I want to and need to listen and learn from these men.

Here are some lessons I’ve learnt from a number of experienced pastors from the book ‘Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry’.

Here’s some notes from the next letter to pastor called Timothy (a composite character).

Lesson 23: Do Personal Work

Fred Malone writes about “the need, responsibility and usefulness of doing personal work in ministry.”

He says:

Personal work is commanded by God

“Paul’s Pastoral Epistles are full of commands to young Timothy and Titus to do personal work.”

Personal work requires a theological foundation

“Personal work has a theological foundation rooted in justification by faith and sanctification by faith in Christ exercised as you obey His commandments.  Make sure that you understand it for yourself so that you will be gracious in your ministrations and as persevering as God is toward you.” 

Personal work has biblical examples

“Our Lord Jesus did personal work… Read the gospels and see Him teaching multitudes the Word of God.  But do not fail to notice that He made time for a woman at the well, a rich young ruler, a thieving Zacchaeus, a betraying Peter.  He evangelised the lost, visited the sick, ate with sinners, loved those who turned away.” 

“Remember the personal work of Paul.as an apostle and pastor in Ephesus.  For three years he did not shrink from declaring to them anything that was profitable and teaching them publicly from house to house.”

Personal work requires that you be personal

Practically this will involve the following:

a) Setting regular hours to visit the flock: “If Christ spends all day, every day, with you, is it too much for Him to ask you to spend some regular time with His loved ones?”

b) Studying your own heart.

c) Spending time with individuals.

d) Asking great questions of your people.

e) Being yourself.

[Taken from Chapter 10: Do Personal Work by Fred Malone]