Reprint from the Word & Work July 1908

“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting and ordain elders in every city as I had appointed thee.” Titus 1:5. Now that the protracted meeting season is upon us and will last far into the winter; it is well for every minister to consider the best means not only of converting and baptizing the penitent, but to direct his attention more especially to so nourish and establish congregations, that they will grow and prosper after he is gone.

It is more important to thoroughly instruct one or two good men for elders and have them so they can conduct the work and worship of the church in decency and order; than to have a number of baptisms and leave them to die a spiritual death after the meeting is over. An agent representing any firm or business corporation will thoroughly understand the firm’s affairs; will know every detail and will be able to convince men of the superiority of his goods over his competitors. He can establish branch houses in every city he may enter and leave it in a short time with men at it helm capable of discharging every duty pertaining to that business.

Ambassadors representing any government watch every little incident the minutest detail, and are careful to observe every point that enhances or jeopardizes their government’s interest. Of how much more importance is the welfare of the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “How then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” II Cor. 5:20.

Ministers should be as diligent in promoting the development and growth of the church, as other men are in conducting temporal affairs. Much good teaching can be done outside the pulpit. Visit the people in their homes, especially the poor ones; learn how they live and have heart to heart talks with them; encourage them to ask questions for by this means you learn their difficulties. Share and pray with them in their sorrows, for in this way you gain their confidence. Never leave a home until you have read the Bible and prayed with them. By all means keep yourself free from idle gossip and political or lodge affiliations. The people expect better of a minister.

In the pulpit and in private; everywhere you go HIDE YOURSELF behind the cross of CHRIST and only in HIM glory. Every church should be a nucleus that will draw around it the best people of the community and from it should go devout men and women teaching privately, the word to every one until all should be brought to a knowledge of the truth.

Let every minister be careful that he teaches a congregation to live in peace and harmony with itself ; that every member individually lives a sober, upright life in his community. Be certain that you model a church after the divine pattern and you will find that the church of Christ will supply every human need and every human want. It will certainly prepare every soul for a home in Heaven. “And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decree  to keep, that were ordained of the apostles  and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith and increased in number daily.” Acts 16:4-5.

-Dr. David Lipscomb Watson was the founder of Word and Work, and was a pediatrician in New Orleans