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The Life of a Preacher

06.03.18 | by Keith Russell

The Life of a Preacher

    I HAVE BEEN PREACHING for almost 50 years. On Sunday morning, June 9, 1968, I walked down the aisle of the First Baptist Church in Dill City, Oklahoma, took my pastor’s hand and said, “God is calling me to preach”. I preached my first “sermon” the following Sunday at the First (and only) Baptist Church in Retrop, Oklahoma. After 50 years of preaching and over 47 years of pastoring, here are my thoughts about the preacher.

    HIS PERSONAL LIFE. Everyone has a personal life, including the preacher. There are some things we are all personally responsible for. The preacher must discipline himself to pray every day, read his Bible every day, and obey God every day. A man cannot go to the public place for God until he has been in the private place with God.

    HIS PRIVATE LIFE. There are certain people who know the preacher better than anyone else: his wife and children. Most of you know me as Bro. Keith, Pastor Keith, etc., but to a few I am known as Keith, Dad, or Pa. The preacher must love his wife like Christ loved the church. The preacher must raise his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. If the preacher loses his family, he will lose his ministry.

    HIS PUBLIC LIFE. The public life is lived in the market place. The public life includes the church, but it is not limited to the church. It includes the restaurant, the grocery store, the ballgame, the beach, etc. Wherever he goes he represents the Lord and His church. Wherever he goes there is someone who is watching how he acts and listening to what he says. Not every sermon is preached in the pulpit!

    HIS PREACHING LIFE. The most important task of the preacher is to preach the Word of God. It is the most important part of any worship service. I love music, but preaching is primary. People get saved around the Word of God. Christians grow when they are served a seven-course meal from the Word of God. If the preacher fails here, he fails everywhere.

    THANK YOU, WESTSIDE, for celebrating 50 years of preaching with me today!