“It is a serious responsibility to be a minister of the gospel! Ministers need many prayers.
We are taught, in the next place, that the great work of a minister of Christ is to do good.
He is to sent to seek ‘lost sheep,’– to proclaim good tidings– to relieve those who are suffering,– to diminish sorrow,– and to increase joy. His life is meant to be one of ‘giving,’ rather than receiving.
This is a high standard, and a very peculiar one. Let it be well weighed, and carefully examined.
It is plain, for one thing, that the life of a faithful minister of Christ cannot be one of ease. He must be ready to spend body and mind, time and strength, in the work of his calling.
Laziness and frivolity are bad enough in any profession, but worst of all in that of a watchman for souls.
It is plain, for another thing, that the position of the ministers of Christ is not that which ignorant people sometimes ascribe to them, and which they unhappily sometimes claim for themselves. They are not so much ordained to rule as to serve.
They are not intended so much to have dominion over the Church, as to supply its wants, and wait upon its members. (2 Cor. 1:24.) Happy would it be for the cause of true religion, if these things were better understood!
Half the diseases of Christianity have arisen from mistaken notions about the minister’s office.”
–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1858/2012), 77-78. Ryle is commenting on Matthew 10:1-15.