Friday, March 1, 2013

4 Foundational Principles for Ministry

I have been reading Iain Murray’s book, A Scottish Christian Heritage. I have especially enjoyed the biography of Thomas Chalmers. In that section Murray looks at the “favorite ideas” of Chalmers concerning the work of ministry. I found them helpful:

  1. The governing principle upon which the strength of all ministerial duties depends is regard for the approval of God.
  2. Ministers should never rest satisfied without growth in personal holiness of life.
  3. Ministers must give themselves wholly to their true work. (Not being entangled in civilian affairs).
  4. A minister must deal directly with men concerning their need of salvation.

To simplify: make pleasing God your aim, pursue personal holiness, be dedicated, be intentional in evangelism.

What would you add?


  1. Mike,

    I am not one to ever disagree with a Scot. Heck they invited Scotch. But I do think I need a clarification of "not being entangled in civilian affairs".

    I do think that after the firm and faithful practice of the four principles listed, the minsters of God's church must work to make the church healthy in every practice of their life. And I think this would include economics, education, etc. I truly believe the gospel is meant to change the face of the world and salvation needs to be worked out to its fulfillment in our entire life. I doubt Murray or Chalmers meant to exclude these application.

    Good stuff. I'm going to look into buying a copy of this book!

    1. Just for a little more context on #3. Chalmers developed this point after his time was spent with a ton of city ministers and city merchants on, "a warm discussion on whether pork broth or ox-head broth should be served to the inmates of the Hospital".

    2. Haha. Oh I wish I was there for that discussion...



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