A New Type of Preacher - A.W. TozerBut none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. --Acts 20:24If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. The proper, ruler-of-the-synagogue type will never do. Neither will the priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt- spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath. The Size of the Soul, 128-129."Lord, in the first half of this current century this need is even greater. Send to Your church today many who have 'seen visions of God and...heard a voice from the Throne.' Amen."
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I've read at least 20 Tozer books, and never came across a single chapter that wasn't worth reading. He was the "new kind of preacher" he describes. He also had no formal training. It may be that the Lord is finished with the professional clergy. "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy."
It has been my observation that God is not blessing in a genuine sense the exaltation of personalities. There have been so many celebrity preachers and leaders over the years, but going forward I do not see this happening. In fact I see the opposite.I think it is dangerous to try to lift up a person with accolades or undue attention. We should not cause folk to feel as if they 'are' celebrities because of the ministry they have. everyone needs to stay on the level- no matter what. Special treatment can lead to pride and every one of us need grace to stand. God resists the proud, etc; we should not be found guilty of contributing to this phenomena.There is a danger that lurks below the surface many times that we must beware of. The danger of exalting self on the coat tail of God. We must decrease- He must increase. We should treat each other no matter what position or ministry we have as 'beloved brothers and sisters', no more and no less. We can esteem them highly for the work sake- but they can never be held up in such a way that we cannot be candid with them; i.e., as was Paul towards Peter in Galatians. We should [u]not[/u] seek associations that would exalt our own name. These type temptations and thoughts are of the world and not God. We must ever be pointing to God and not allowing folk to think more highly of us than we ought. As a recent thread put it, being a 'false witness.'
_________________Robert Wurtz II
Something that was pointed out to me a few years ago that has stood out in my mind when thinking on this issue is this: when Paul or John or Peter or James were identifying themselves in their letters to their recipients they would say things like "Paul, an apostle of Christ" or "Paul, a bond-servant of God" or "James, a bond-servant" or "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ", etc. In our contemporary settings we usually find a person prefacing their name with their title, anything from "Pastor Smith" to "The Holy Reverend Thompson". The apostles seemed to prefer identifying themselves first as John or Paul and then stating the calling or office that they had been appointed to (by the grace of the Lord); their titles also had a bit more of a humble tone to them didn't they? How often do we hear a church leader say, "Hi, I'm Tom, a prisoner of Christ" or even, "Hi, I'm Tom, a pastor of the Lord Jesus." I once shook a person's hand who identified himself by saying, "Hi, I'm Missionary James White". This was a bit much for me.
GOD raise up men after His own heart who willproclaim and defend the gospel truth zealously,who have a heart for the flock that theyshepherd, who see themselves first as humbleministers and servants of the Most High !!
_________________Martin G. Smith