Each week I meet with four men from three denominations for prayer. Rarely a week goes by that we don’t discuss some kind of brushfire that is directly related to their ministry of the Word. I have another four men who are my pastors. Each of them have diverse struggles directly related to their calling. Then my own son has been called to ministry and he will eventually encounter opposition like all those before him. Not to mention the many I’ve know through the years who teach the Bible faithfully in Sunday School and “let the rough end drag” (Shout out to a friend).
To these men, and others who are in ministry teaching Scripture, I submit these thoughts from Ray Ortland…
None are more exposed to slanders and insults than godly teachers. This comes not only from the difficulty of their duties, which are so great that sometimes they sink under them, or stagger or halt or take a false step, so that wicked men find many occasions of finding fault with them; but added to that, even when they do all their duties correctly and commit not even the smallest error, they never avoid a thousand criticisms. It is indeed a trick of Satan to estrange men from their ministers so as gradually to bring their teaching into contempt. In this way not only is wrong done to innocent people whose reputation is undeservedly injured, but the authority of God’s holy teaching is diminished. . . .
[T]he more sincerely any pastor strives to further Christ’s kingdom, the more he is loaded with spite, the more fierce do the attacks upon him become. And not only so, but as soon as any charge is made against ministers of the Word, it is believed as surely and firmly as if it had been already proved. This happens not only because a higher standard of integrity is required from them, but because Satan makes most people, in fact nearly everyone, over credulous so that without investigation, they eagerly condemn their pastors whose good name they ought to be defending.”
The misbehavior that makes gospel ministry difficult is the very thing that makes gospel ministry necessary.