Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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The Value of Godly Counsel

  • Jim Townsley
  • Jun 15, 2011

There are many voices in the world, but which ones are right? Young preachers must develop a short list of godly men from whom they will frequently receive counsel. Life is about influence; so you must ask, who will influence you and who will you influence?

Psalm one reminds us not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Receiving counsel, especially the right counsel, holds a giant key to success in the ministry. I remind you that Absalom's fatal mistake was that he listened to the counsel of the young men and rejected the counsel of the old men. The problem with listening to young men is not that they do not have some good ideas, but that they do not have the experience that time has rendered to older men. Older men have lived long enough to know the end of many decisions. If given the opportunity to heed the counsel of young men or old men I would always lean toward the advice of the old men. As a young child my family and I attended an American Baptist Church. At that time the American Baptist Convention was in the midst of compromise and clearly was headed in the wrong direction. Many people falsely believed the convention was moving forward and that over time there would be great results, but time has led them to deadness and liberalism. Who today could believe the ABC churches were once vibrant churches very much alive with the spirit of God? Today they are reaping the results of bad decisions. I see exactly the same issues today with the progressive church movement. Young men are being enticed by its progressive and new ideas, but these are the same old ideas that resulted in the death of many previously good churches.

The most successful church planters I know are curious and always asking questions. The man who has all the answers and insists on doing it his way is doomed from the start. Seeking advice is not a sign of weakness, but rather reveals wisdom. Avoiding counsel we think will differ from our own denies us the opportunity to hone our ideas and as a result we may miss the truth. We must get over ourselves and admit we don't know everything. Do not deny yourself valuable information that will help build the church of God.

The following list is of key individuals from which we should constantly seek counsel.

1. Your pastor. I place your Pastor ahead of your parents, because in the ministry no one will have a better sense of your challenges than he. If you do not have a pastor I would suggest you adopt a man of God to become your pastor. Young preachers are people with human needs and problems just like everyone else and thus pastors need pastors. As a young preacher I never made a significant decision without the godly advice of an experienced man of God. The encouragement and, when necessary, the reprimand of a man of God can save us from critical mistakes.

2. Your parents. Though now married, with children and grandchildren, I still value the advice of my parents. You never become too old to need their counsel. My parents know me better than any person in the world other than my wife. It is amazing how God gives parents an understanding of their children's personality, strengths and weaknesses. Your parents should always be honored by utilizing them as a major resource for counsel.

3. Your wife. I know men are supposed to lead the family, but men would do well to listen to their wife so that they can better lead the family. Remember the Bible states in Ephesians that we are to submit to each other. Submission is not just a wife thing, it is for the whole family. Rebellion is basically one member of the family moving outside of the protection and authority of the home relationships and making decisions independent of the others.

4. Your children. Someone said, "God gave us children to teach us." That statement is not far from the truth. Even children can give advice about an important decision.

5. Godly church members. A man's credibility is always built upon the credibility of others. By associating with the right people you are borrowing their credibility. If you are weak in finances, why not find a member who is strong in finances and keep them as your special advisor. Administration may be your weakness, but another member may be strong in that area. Utilizing the strength of others always makes the leader look stronger.