Principles For Effective Pastoral Ministry - 4

Title: Principles For Effective Pastoral Ministry - 4
Category: Pastoral Issues
Subject: Pastoral Ministry
Principles For Effective Pastoral Ministry - 4

Dr. Roger D. Willmore
Weaver, Alabama


Some things never change. There are principles that determine effective pastoral ministry found in the writings of those who have gone before us which still apply in our contemporary world.

I recently discovered this series of lectures by the Rev. W. H. Griffith Thomas given at the Westminister Bible Conference at Westminister Chapel, London England, 1912.

Dr. Thomas entitled his lectures: Some Secrets of Ministerial Power. He then names five secrets and expounds on them. The following is an overview of the lectures -


1. The Place Of Joy

2. The Measure Of Joy

3. The History Of Joy

4. The Meaning Of Joy

5. The Power of Joy

6. The Secret Of Joy

The term fullness of joy is used six times in John''s writings. Four in the Gospel and two in the Epistle. In these we see the sixfold secret of joy:

1. The Joy Of Surrender. John 3:29, 30
Full surrender to Christ; Christ first, everything in our lives is His. That is the secret of fullness of joy. No surrender, no joy; partial surrender, partial joy; full surrender, fullness of joy.
2. The Joy Of Obedience. John 15:11
In obedience to the will of God there would come fullness of joy.
3. The Joy Of Prayer. John 16:24
"In My Name" The men of power... and joy down through the ages have been men of prayer.
4. The Joy Of Protection. John 17:13
We find joy in the keeping power of Christ.
5. The Joy of Fellowship. 1 John 1:4
Joy is found in our mutual fellowship with other Christians.
6. The Joy of Brother Love. 2 John 12
We find joy in a brother (sister) love.


Are you faithful? Are you trustworthy? Faithfulness is one of the keys to ministerial power.

Are we...

a. Loyal in our thoughts.

b. Loyal in our feelings.

c. Loyal in our judgments.

d. Loyal in our determinations.

e. Loyal in our habits.

f. Loyal in our motives.

g. Loyal in our service.


Joy is associated with ministerial and Christian privilege, and faithfulness with ministerial responsibility, then method is associated with ministerial efficiency.

Griffith points out several areas of ministerial life where method is of great importance:

1. The Method In Personal Life.

-this primarily addresses the use of ones time.

2. The Method In Intellectual Life.

-what is your method of reading?

-what is your method of collecting information?

-what is your method of filing information?


3. The Method Of Pastoral Life.

Do you have a method for your pastoral work?

4. The Method Of Devotional Life.

Do you have a method in private prayer? Where? When? How?

Do you have a method in reading the Bible devotionally?


Prayer is a vital secret to ministerial power.

-What prayer means.

-What prayer does.

-What prayer needs.


Every moment, every aspect, every need of ministerial life is connected with the word of God. Peter said, "We will give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word of God."

-The Nature Of Meditation.

-The Object Of Meditation.

-The Time Of Meditation.

-The Character of Meditation.

-The Results of Meditation.

-The Method of Meditation.

The preceding is only a brief- and very brief overview of W. H. Griffeth Thomas'' comments about Secrets of Ministerial Power. Hopefully this brief outline will serve as a guide as you seek to go deeper into the subject.