Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching the ordination service at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Cortez, Colorado, for Pastor Andrew Reed. This was a particularly special service as Brother Reed and his wife, Angela, are both graduates of West Coast Baptist College. They graduated in 2006 and served on staff of a church in northern California before he was called to pastor Lighthouse Baptist.
Cortez is the area where the Chappell family has farmed through generations. Several members of my family, including my godly grandmother, are members of Lighthouse Baptist and are actively helping to win souls. Pastor Reed’s ministry has been a blessing to them.
Prior to the ordination service, Brother Reed met with those of us who were part of the ordination council, and we questioned him on his doctrine and biblical positions. The ordination council consisted of pastors from Virginia, New Mexico, Utah, and California, as well as a missionary headed to the South Pacific. It was a blessing to see Brother Andrew answer each question with sound, scriptural responses.
For this ordination service, I preached on “The Ministry of a Man of God” from 1 and 2 Timothy. Although this message was meant to be a challenge to Pastor Reed, the points we see in Timothy’s life and ministry were a challenge to me as well—and should be to every preacher of God’s Word.
The Preparation of a Man of God
First Timothy 3 lists the weighty qualifications of pastoral leadership. God insists that those who lead others spiritually have first been prepared by His Spirit. God specifically prepares His men to lead others through prayer, personal study, and even the trials of life.
We tend to place more emphasis on presentation, but God places great emphasis on preparation. How vital it is that those who shepherd God’s people have allowed God to prepare their heart and their message through fervent prayer and diligent study.
The Progression of the Work of God
Timothy’s first encounter with the Gospel ministry was likely just outside the gates of his hometown of Lystra when he saw Paul stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19). Through traveling with Paul, Timothy was well-acquainted with the risks of the ministry.
Yet, Timothy also observed firsthand the rewards of serving God’s people. Pastoral ministry may have its burdens, but it has weightier rewards—experiencing the grace of God, having part in seeing souls saved, and a front row seat in seeing Christ establish His local church.
The Preaching of the Word of God
Paul’s strongest charge to Timothy was, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Across our nation, churches have shifted from being pillars of truth to gathering places for culture, and pastors have changed from proclaiming the Gospel to repackaging and delivering pop psychology. But there is no substitute for preaching the Word of God.
Every one of us pastors should take Paul’s charge to heart: “Preach the word.” God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to convict and save sinners (1 Corinthians 1:21). And it is the Gospel itself that has power to change the lives and destinies of men and women (Romans 1:16). We must preach the Word and preach the Gospel.
I’m thrilled to have had a part in Pastor Reed’s ordination, and l am thankful for his dedication to the Lord and heart to serve God’s people. Please pray for Brother Reed, his wife, Angela, and their two precious daughters as they serve the Lord in Cortez.