William Still – The Work of the Pastor – Some Quotes


Some quotes from my Christmas Eve reading, ‘The Work of the Pastor’ by Revd William Still (1964)…


“To be pastors you must be ‘fed men’, not only in knowledge, but in wisdom, grace, humility, courage, fear of God, and fearlessness of men.”


“Courage is the greatest lack today. If all men in the ministry acted upon what they know we would have a far better ministry.”


“there is nothing so boring, stale, flat and unprofitable as holy things retailed in the absence of the Spirit. This is one of the devil’s most cunning tricks, to cause the Word of God to be dispensed by lazy, sleepy, moribund creatures.”


“We are not called to make a crowd of worldly folk happy – but so to labour amongst them that, through many tribulations, discouragements and misunderstandings, we form a faithful people of God, however small a remnant of the total congregation that may be.”


“having been called or appointed to minister to a local congregation, begin to minister the Word of God to them at once, depending for all you are worth on the Holy Spirit, and believing that this is the biggest thing you can do for them in all the world. This is your life.”


“You will see the Word changing and exposing lives, and you will marvel and tremble and rejoice and fear all in one. You will be bowed in profoundest humility before God when you see that He has called you to follow in the train, however far behind, of the first Apostles…


“There is not a greater task a man can perform in the whole world than this, that he is being used to release the all-searching Word of God upon a company of needy souls. It is the most amazing thing. It works! God works. His Word works. Prayer works. The Spirit works.”


Conflict! Cost! Crucifixion! ‘Who is sufficient for these things?’ None of us. ‘Our sufficiency is of God.’ It is when we see the cost of a real work of God in terms of human agony and sacrifice that we see whether our call to the ministry is of God or is a mere romantic notion.”


“Most pastors crack up because they try to do what God never intended them to do. They destroy themselves by sinful ambition, just as much as the drunkard and drug addict. Ambition drives them on.”


The testimony of a true Christian church ought to be how Christians love one another including the ‘odd bods’. Christ likes odd bods. Nearly all the fruitful Christian ministers, and fruitful laymen I know, are odd bods. But they are odd bods with a mission…

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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