Folks will sometimes say that a young man or woman who obviously has gifts in ministry is running from the ministry when she or he does not want any part of the ministry.

God has called them and instead of walking in that ministry, they want to do something else. That is a definition of “running from the ministry,” but there are other ways to run from the ministry.

Whole Counsel Preaching Is Needed

What about when God calls you to preach a word of correction to your people (it is time to live right) and instead you preach yet another word of encouragement (God will be with you in your pain). Certainly both are needed…but you might be running from your calling by not preaching both over the course of your ministry.

What about when your people need to hear about the ethical demands of being a member of the Kingdom of God (Turn the Other cheek, love your enemies, bless them that curse you), but you only preach about the benefits of being such a member? (God has a blessing for you with your name on it!)

Great Preaching Is Not Always Easy

You see as a preacher, we are called to preach the word in season and out of season. (2 Timothy 4:2) We are called to preach the whole counsel. (Acts 20:27) It may be easy some weeks, but it is gonna be hard other weeks, but nobody said it was gonna be easy. In fact we are told that godly living will result in persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)

But too many of us are running from the ministry even as we preach every week. Too many of us are running from our calling even though we “wreck the house” and “shout the church.” Many of us are running from the ministry that God has called us to.

Steps To Better Preaching

What can we do if we are running from the ministry? First, pray to the Lord for both forgiveness and guidance as we seek to do better.

Second, recognize that God still has blessed and will bless the Word that has gone out. If God can use a Donkey (Numbers 22:28), God can use our truncated message. Yes the word will not come back void. (Isaiah 55:11)

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Third, sit down and look at the real needs of your people. Turn off the media ministers that are on the radio and television. They cannot preach to your congregation’s needs, they must preach to a larger world, but you have a specific people with specific needs and hopes and dreams that must be addressed by the Balm of Gilead.

There are people who are desperately needing a word from God. Don’t give them empty promises of certain financial blessings. Instead stop “running from the ministry” and preach the full counsel of God to your people so that they can withstand the fiery ordeal. (1 Peter 4:12)

17 thoughts on “Running From The Ministry But Still Preaching

  1. Rev. Joyce Irvin Harris says:

    You are right that many are not preaching the whole counsel of God to their people. And while it may be true that some are “running from their ministry”, I think it may be *more* true that many preachers are in positions beyond their calling and gifts.

    Because being a pastor is the primary position wherein one is assured to preach on a regular basis, have administrative control, financial security, and community esteem, I believe many pursue being a pastor when “shepherding” – which includes preaching the whole counsel of God – is not their calling.

  2. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:


    I do think you bring an intersting point that we don’t normally talk about on Namely that emphasizes the “preaching” task. We don’t normally discuss the other aspects of pastoring…and when we do, it is largely from the position of an Associate Minister and not a senior pastor…

    perhaps somebody needs to start a SoulPastoring Site…lol…I would love to help a pastor get that going if anyone wishes to move forward and start that “sister” site…

    In any case, you are totally correct..there are some great preachers who don’t have the gift to pastor…and I have even known some great patsors who were not the best preachers….

  3. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    by the way…I am serious about that soulpastoring site…if anyone wishes to move forward and be the point person…I will hlep that one get online…

  4. Sylvester Warsaw, Jr. says:

    My dear brother Elder Cox,

    You and Rev. Joyce Harris make good points. While in seminary I was privileged to have been in the company of men like Dr. Gardner Taylor, Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Dr. Cecil Murray and Dr. Paul Martin just to name a few, who told me that as a pastor people will tell you what to preach meaning the people setting in the pews will let you know what’s on their heart and it’s up to you as the pastor to listen and take the concerns of the people to God in prayer so He can give you what to preach so His people can be liberated. It’s not about what we as pastors think, but, about what God wants to do in the life of His people and that’s to free us so that we can be free to minister to Him as we live this Christian life co-laborering with Him in His vineyard. It’s unfortunate that where people are suppose to be getting set free they’re still in bondage because they’re not being shepherd.

    The Lord has birth in and through me a ministry called New Wine Ministries because so many people God has placed in my life have never been discipled. Unfortunately, many fellowships have both the front and back door opened. Many people who come in the front door walk right out the back because their is no reason for them to stay, there’s nothing going on in the life of the fellowship. Discipleship is a major component of Pastoral Ministry/Christian Education. You and I can have a discussion about possibly incorporating what you’ve termed SoulPastoring with New Wine Ministries. I want to encourage you my brother to keep doing what you’re doing. Blessings my brother.

  5. Lebarron Rabb says:

    Yes! you are so right on! I did not get saved off prosperity gospel i had to be told I was going to hell if i didn’t repent and be born again and now I’m a minister of Christ and I preach the gospel boldly and God will always be with you.

  6. Pastor Frederick D. Harris says:

    With lol and respect, just maybe some of the people who are being mention were not trained up properly and that that could be the real issue. After all who is the preacher’s real judge any way? I’m a firm believer that encouragement and prayer is the way to go when it comes to God’s preachers.
    This is a good forum for discussing preaching techniques and methodologies in the preparation and presentation of a particular style of preaching, “Soulpreaching.” Too many times I hear preachers, not lay people be judgmental when it comes to someone else’s calling, not to offend mine you, just stating facts. My prayer is that the God sent preachers get on one accord. The “SoulPastoring” site is a good idea Bro. Cox.

  7. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Hey Doc…we don’t always have to agree….If we never disagree we never grow…

    OK…I done heard some support for the idea of SoulPastoring…whose in? who gonna help it get started? Who gonna help write articles?

  8. I understand the article….however, I feel that if you are not the Pastor, and you don’t have the Pastor’s approval to “whip the people”, you shouldn’t.

    Like children, congregations will not accept correction from anyone, and the Pastor is still responsible for the souls of the sheep that God has placed in his/her care.

    I don’t think that God is a God of disorder, therefore, maybe the messenger should speak blessings as did Balaam. If there is correction or a call to higher living needed, God will instruct the Pastor to preach it. If the Pastor doesn’t obey, then he will be held accountable by God.

    Just my opinion.

  9. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Hello…Please look at this video which argues that Significant preaching is not beating up the people. I think we all are not on the same page about what it means to “beat up the people.” Some preachers come and preach about living holy. Loving the Lord even when things do not go the way that they wish. And God’s power to help us live better. Now some person may say that is “Beating up the people.” Others may say that it is simply being obedient. Is that beating up the people?

    I guess I do not know what you mean by beating up the people. Please let me know, because I suspect that we all are not in agreement about what that means….

    But whether associate minister or senior minister…if you realize that the people need a sermon on holiness and holy living…and instead you preach the exact opposite…there is a problem. I will agree however that there will be times when you are called to preach about certain themes…and we should be mindful of the themes, but also we cannot neglect the word that is needed…otherwise we miss our calling as preachers of the gospel and turn ourselves into mere echoes of the status quo. I guess we disagree that only the senior pastor will be held accountable. We also disagree, I do not think that associate ministers are only called to preach “blessings” or the easy parts of scripture. Something is wrong if your senior pastor only wishes all the associates to preach such a truncated message….

  10. Diana Negron says:

    Greetings. May the Lord’s grace be manifest in you, powerfully.

    I randomly found this site and read a couple of articles. On this matter, I can witness how my first part-time ministry (as Pastor) begun with much enthusiasm, but became sand in my hands. I was invited to be the Pastor of a small church whose leadership never contacted me for visitation or counseling. I remember being told about their situations after they have happened or “solved”. After some months, it was clear they were expecting someone to just fill the pulpit each Sunday. I wanted so badly to be their pastor, but they couldn’t help being detached of that idea (and of me)!

    I ended up getting used to it. i lost the joy of serving beyond Sundays. I lost myself into that comfortable position and ended up quitting days before my first anniversary there. We never stopped clashing over petty stuff and other members were getting affected by it. I had to apply 1 Peter 5:2a, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly…”

    We should never allow neither the evil one, nor our flesh, make us run away from the Lord’s calling to serve! Blessed be the Lord, we both (that church and I) are active in our ministries. If I had stayed, it might have died.

  11. Min Roderick Daniels says:

    Brother Cox,

    This is an awesome article with great impact on what we should be doing and how we as ministers of Christ should be handling our Fathers’ business. This speaks to me in volumes, in terms of helping others as well as myself, by doing what I am charged to do no matter the test, time, season or for that matter who it is…. I find your site enlighting and your articles noteworthy and they are definitely helping me on this journey…

    Be blessed

    Min Daniels

  12. Greeting my Brother in the Lord;
    Thank you so much for allowing the Lord use you. I am always intersted in what you have to say, because I am dealing with so much God always uses you to bring me a fresh Rhema word from God. Even this time the only way you could have known I was running from the ministry is from God. Thank you, and keeping allowing God to use you.

  13. Hi,

    I come from a tradition that follows the common lectionary and a tradition where it seems that preaching is secondary to the sacramental part of the service. Too often people hear generic sermons that don’t relate to the struggles and joys of their lives.

    When I became a pastor, I found how difficult it is to preach what the people need while maintaining the integrity of the Word of God. But I think that we owe it to God, who called to us, to persevere– and to the people we are called to serve. I once heard a priest say, “Salvation is not a solo act.” As pastors, I think we are especially responsible for making sure we bring our congregations with us as we travel the narrow road to the kingdom of God. Love and blessing!

    Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community

  14. Lesson on women who are called to evangelize in the Baptist Church, and why do some church members tell the evangelist what they should be doing, I feel orders should come from God not man, and no, I do not have my license, my church doesn’t think God calles women to minister. I am look over every sunday, not that it matter, I did have my intial sermon, with my Pastor present in the church. He did acknowdge God showed him that women can preach. I am living for the Lord, I am a servant of God, should I leave my church? my husband is a deacon at the church. what do I do?

  15. David Hodgin says:

    I liked the article and agree with the need and call to preach the hard stuff. I am also pondering a thought of feeling a little pulled to be something I am not. There is one Jeremiah, one Isaiah, one Peter, one Paul and one “donkey” all have different personalities, styles and ministries. In order to be “well-rounded” does one have to act/preach like another? I am seldom comfortable telling people what to do; but rather it is my nature to provide knowledge, resources, encouragement, facts and other tools a person needs to make godly choices. So that being said, after reading many articles on preaching I find myself feeling pulled to be someone I am not. I think we need to read good articles like this, and temper it with our background personality and calling. Then stay true to who and what God has called us to. Do you think I’m on target Shermon?

  16. David Hodgin says:

    Liz, No one can give you perfect advice on this from afar. But be in agreement with your husband. If your marriage is fractured your ministry will be too. For what it’s worth, the best evangelism is done over coffee tables not pulpits. BTW I believe women are called to preach and pastor just like men are.

  17. Hello Liz, don’t leave your church ontinue to study the word of God,and allow the holy Spirit to convict your Pastor, I do undertsand I am a female minister, have come against oppostion, But I declare and decree I’m gonna do what God called me to do and that preach and teach His word Amen—-

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