The Second Man
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Old Testament Examples of Second Men
I realize that the Pastor or the Associate Pastor is New Testament Church policy and is a calling of a New Testament role. However, there are some wonderful examples in the Old Testament of men that needed other men to assist them as they dealt with situations of their day.
MOSES AND AARON
Exodus 4:14-17 ”And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, [Is] not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, [even] he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.”
There are some wonderful lessons to be learned from this text. Moses needed a helper as he persuaded Pharaoh to let God’s people leave Egypt. Moses used excuses to tell God that he was very inadequate to do the job that God wanted him to do. Moses was slow of speech. Some have even said that Moses had a stuttering problem. God gave Aaron to help Moses with his speech impediment. Aaron became the public spokesman and was able to do that which Moses was incapable of performing. Aaron was certainly a great help to Moses. The Second Man should be a tremendous help to the Pastor. The Second Man has gifts and talents that can help the insufficiencies of God’s Man. It is not that one man is any better than the other is. God puts people together to perform His will. They should work as a team. Even though Aaron had qualities that Moses didn’t, Aaron never belittle God’s Man. The Second Man should never belittle the Pastor because their qualities are different.
Aaron is mentioned again in the midst of a battle with the Amalekites.
Exodus 17:8-13 “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod God in mine hand. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands [were] heavy; and they took a stone, and put [it] under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
When God’s Man is in the midst of the battles of life, God uses the Second Man to strengthen him. In this situation Aaron was used of God by holding up the hands of Moses. As a pastor, it seems that we sometimes fight our battles alone. I am glad for the men that God has used to strengthen me in the midst of my hardships. They overcame the enemy because they fought the battle together. They struggle did not cause Aaron to run. The battle would strengthen their relationship.
Building programs are a great responsibility for one man. God commanded Moses to build a Tabernacle for the wilderness journey. The Tabernacle was the focus of the national life of the children of Israel as they journeyed in the wilderness.1 Aaron is spoken of as the first human priest of the priestly order of the Tabernacle. The priestly order of Aaron is spoken of more than anything else concerning the ministry of Moses and Aaron.
Exodus 28:1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, [even] Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
Moses and Aaron did not cross into the Promised Land. Moses and Aaron both died in the same year. God used them both as they led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness journey to evidently move into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua.
ELIJAH AND ELISHA
1 Kings 19:19 “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who [was] plowing [with] twelve yoke [of oxen] before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and [then] I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?
And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.”
There is no greater preaching prophet than Elijah. His name is defined as “My God is Jehovah”2 There is no prophet that is spoken of more in the New Testament than Elijah. Elijah has also been classified as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.3 Elijah was greatly used of God during the years of the Divided Kingdom. Elijah’s ministry was mostly to the Northern Kingdom of Judah. Elijah performed many miracles as he ministered to the people. Elijah stood boldly as he destroyed the prophets of Baal. However, Elijah became depressed when he heard the evil report that Delilah was going to kill him. Elijah went a day’s journey to a juniper tree and poured out his heart to God. God refreshed him and soon gave him a man to help him and carry on the ministry after Elijah was translated into heaven. God reminded Elijah that he was not the only one that had not bowed their knees to Baal.
1 Kings 19:18 “Yet I have left [me] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”
Elisha’s name is defined as “God is my salvation”4 Elisha is not mentioned often in scripture but when Elijah was translated into heaven, Elisha was there to take up the mantle and carry on the work of God. Elisha’s motives and desire were pure as he desired for Elijah to grant him the double portion of his Spirit.
2 Kings 2:9-15 “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.2 Kings 2:10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: [nevertheless], if thou see me [when I am] taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be [so]. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, [there appeared] a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw [it], and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where [is] the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which [were] to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
Elisha is now the Man of God. He has faithfully served his predecessor Elijah. For over ten years Elisha has been found by the side of Elijah. Elisha performed physical duties as well as spiritual duties. Elisha obeyed Elijah in every way. The Bible reveals that Elisha performed twice the miracles of Elijah. Elisha’s ministry is not generally spoken of as much as Elijah’s but Elisha’s ministry is very exciting, as much exciting as Elijah. The Bible does not record any bad spirit between the two men of God. The people of God suffered no time without a Man of God. I personally believe that God used Elisha because that he was a faithful servant to his leader Elijah. Elisha’s ministry covered a time of over 60 years.
There are many wonderful lessons to be learned from Elijah and Elisha. There came a time when Elijah was weary in the work of the Lord. He needed a helper that he could use immediately and a helper that he could train to carry on the work of the Lord. Many churches call a good young Second Man to help the Man of God. God uses him to help the Pastor and the man is trained to later fill the position of Pastor. This is a great advantage to the church. The Second Man that becomes Pastor is already familiar with the ministry and people of the congregation. He can carry on the work of that ministry in a greater fashion than the former Pastor. Many older Pastors should use wisdom in training a new man for the position of Pastor.
One final thought about Elijah and Elisha. Both men possessed the great power of God in their ministry. There never seems to be a lapse in their ministry. The people witnessed the same power of God in Elisha after Elijah was translated into heaven. There was even power in Elisha’s dead bones that laid in a tomb after his death.
2 Kings 13:20,21 “ And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band [of men]; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.”
May God give the power of God to the Second Man just like God gives His power to the Man of God. May all of God’s preacher possess the power of God as the Men of God of yesteryear. May God’s preachers be known as “Men of God.”
ELISHA AND GEHAZI
Elisha now has his own Second Man. One would wish that he would have a Second Man that was as honest and faithful as he was himself when he was a Second Man. This was not true of Ghazi.
Gehazi told the prophet of their hostess desire for a son, but when the lad that was given her died, and the mother cast herself at Elisha’s feet, Gehazi would have trust her away.
2 Kings 4: 12-14 And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him. And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what [is] to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people. And he said, What then [is] to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.
To teach that this was not magic, but faith and prayer which avail, Elisha sent Gehazi to lay the prophet’s staff on the dead child of the Shumanite woman. He did so with no effect.
2 Kings 4:29-31 Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. And the mother of the child said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her. And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but [there was] neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked.
Later Naaman was stricken with leprosy. Elisha gave him divine directions and Naaman was healed of his leprosy. Naaman desired to give Elisha a present but Elisha refused. Gehazi hated that Naaman had been healed and lied to him about the gift. As a result of Gehazi’s lying and self-will, Naaman’s leprosy cleaved to Gehazi. The Bible tells of more wrong doings by Gehazi.
2 Kings 5:20-27 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, [as] the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw [him] running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, [Is] all well? And he said, All [is] well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid [them] upon two of his servants; and they bare [them] before him. And when he came to the tower, he took [them] from their hand, and bestowed [them] in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed. But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence [comest thou], Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. And he said unto him, Went not mine heart [with thee], when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? [Is it] a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper [as white] as snow.”
The testimony of Gehazi is not a testimony of a Man of God. I can see where that he was of no benefit to Elisha. I have heard horror stories of Second Men that have been a thorn to the Pastor and have done things behind the Pastor’s back for self will and self gain. I pray that the example of Gehazi will teach us that Second Men must also be righteous men of God.
He’s just a smalltime Country Preacher
And the call was loud and clear
“Preach the Gospel to every creature”
But he knows that the Lord wants him here.
For him there’ll be no TV glamour
And he’s not in the healing scene
No makeup, no lights and cameras
No bodyguards, and no limousines
His little church is growing
It has needs that he must fill
He takes comfort just in knowing
By staying here he does God’s Will.
And when his soul is called to glory
And his body to the sod
It won’t make the mighty news story
But he’s no less a MAN OF GOD.5
New Testament Examples of the Second Man
There are not many one-man ministries in the New Testament. There are examples of Second Men in the Gospels and in the New Testament Epistles.
JESUS AND THE TWELVE DISCIPLES
Matthew 10:1-4 “And when he had called unto [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power [against] unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James [the son] of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
A “disciple” is defined as “one that is willing to follow, to learn, and one willing to teach others.”6 The term also describes one that is willing to listen to a teacher.7 Second Men are workers, disciples, followers of the Pastor, men that are trainable for ministry that is for the future. The twelve disciples are wonderful examples of godly Second Men. These men came from all different backgrounds. They all had different abilities and spiritual characteristics. They all had different strengths and weaknesses. They all except for Judas Iscariot were greatly used of the Lord. They all had a different job to do and they all also had the same job. They all had the blessing of sitting at the feet of Jesus.
There is one disciple that especially catches my attention as a humble servant. Andrew is one of the disciples that little is known about. However his life had an influence on Simon Peter and Simon Peter would win thousands to Christ.
John 1:40-42 “One of the two which heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Andrew will always be known as the soul-winner that led his brother Simon Peter to Jesus Christ. Andrew was concerned about his brother before he was concerned about anyone else. Every time that Simon Peter would perform a work for the Lord Jesus, God recorded that work in heaven. Andrew will likewise receive a reward because he brought Peter to Jesus Christ. Andrew is only spoken of in a few places in the Bible. I believe that he will be remembered as a simply servant of the Lord.
Mark’s account summarizes the ministry that Christ would give them.
Mark 6:7-13 “And he called [unto him] the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for [their] journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in [their] purse: But [be] shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed [them]
In this text we read of their ministry, their mannerism, their message, and their miracles. Each day was a day of training for these disciples. Day by day experiences would strengthen them for the ministry after Christ would ascend back to heaven. Even when others would go away and turn their back upon the Lord, they remained faithful unto the Lord. The disciples experienced the power of Christ in the miracles that He performed. As the earthly ministry of Christ progressed the Lord began to prepare them for their future ministry. It broke the hearts of the eleven when Jesus began to tell them that he was going to die. Jesus tenderly loved them and showed them that His Death, Burial, and Resurrection could only complete salvation. Before Jesus went back to heaven, Jesus would commission them with an Apostolic Commission.
Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
Acts 1:4-9 “And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
These men were not only disciples but they are now known as “apostles.” An “apostle” means a “sent one.” An apostle was a witness of the resurrection of Christ.
Acts 1:22 “Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.”
These disciples would be apostles, as they would witness of the resurrection of Christ after our Lord would ascend back to heaven.
As a Second Man, I am learning so much from these disciples. It is to my benefit that I stay close to the Pastor. It is important that I glean from his experience and wisdom. I must be willing to perform any duty physical or spiritual. I must understand that there are places that I can reach that my Pastor cannot humanly reach. I am being trained for the work ahead. I am his representative when he is in other places. I could be left one day to carry on the ministry that he started. I am thankful to be a follower just as the disciples were followers and students of Jesus Christ.
PAUL AND BARNABAS
Paul was known as a “apostle that was born out of due time.”
1 Corinthians 15:8 “And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”
Paul was converted on the Damascus road during the days of the Apostles. Paul had been a persecutor of the church at Jerusalem. It was Barnabas that persuaded the Apostles that they could now fellowship with Paul.
Acts 9:26,27 “And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought [him] to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to
him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Paul and Barnabas worked at the Church at Antioch for at least a year to enlarge the church, evangelize the lost, and to encourage the believers. Paul was called to preach and was sent by the Church at Antioch to preach the Gospel as a missionary. Barnabas accompanied Paul’s first journey.
Acts 13:1-3 “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away.”
The name “Barnabas” means “son of exhortation, and son of prophecy.”8 One writer has stated that Barnabas was a surrendered man.9 It takes a surrendered man to follow the leadership of another. It would take a surrendered man to leave his worldly possessions to follow the Lord into territory that had never been reached with the Gospel. Barnabas could have easily stayed at Antioch. There was much to be done there. God wanted him with Paul as traveled, preached, and evangelized the lost.
Paul’s first missionary journey went from Antioch to numerous places including the island of Cyprus and the cities of Attalia, Perga, Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe.10 These men of God returned to these cities as they traveled back to Antioch. They gave a report of success to the elders at Antioch.
Acts 14:26-28 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. And there they abode long time with the disciples.”
Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch for some time. A dispute had arisen concerning circumcision. As Paul and Barnabas were planning another missionary journey there arose sharp dissention among them. Eventually Paul would take Silas with him and Barnabas would take Mark with him.
Acts 15:35-38 “Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, [and see] how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
One can appreciate how that Paul and Barnabas worked together serving our Lord. I also appreciate the fact that when a major difference had arisen among them, that they separated and continued to serve the Lord. As we read further in the Bible, this problem was for the Glory of God. Paul and Barnabas were able to start new ministries with new partners. When a Second Man cannot agree over major issues with his Pastor, then he should graciously step down. He should not develop a power struggle and divide the congregation. If differences cannot be resolved, then it would be the Will of God for the Second Man to quietly leave and seek God’s guidance for another ministry. Paul doesn’t speak harshly of Barnabas in any of his New Testament epistles . Barnabas is spoken of in the books of First Corinthians, Galatians, and Colossians.
PAUL AND SILAS
Paul’s second missionary journey would be accompanied by Silas.11 Silas is first mentioned in Acts 15 as Paul and the council at Jerusalem was selecting a new partner for Paul.
Acts 15:22 “ Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; [namely], Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:”
Acts 15:40 “And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.”
Silas would travel with Paul on a much longer journey than Paul’s first journey. Silas would even go to jail with Paul at Philippi. Paul and Silas would enjoy the miracle and the conversion of the Phillipian jailer.
Acts 16:25-34– “ And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed [their] stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
Silas showed great character as Paul’s partner. Silas could have quit and turned back as others turned back. I believe that the Second Man should be willing to stand by the Pastor in days of rejection and persecution. God knew that Silas could stand the test of hard days in the ministry. Silas will certainly receive rewards at the Bema Seat of Christ for his faithfulness to God and the ministry of the Apostle Paul.
PAUL AND TIMOTHY
One well-known writer has called Timothy “Paul’s well-known companion and assistant.”12 Paul spoke words of love and commitment to Timothy.
1 Corinthians 4:17 “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.”
1 Timothy 1:2 Unto Timothy, [my] own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
On Paul’s first missionary journey Paul visited Lystra. It was at Lystra that Paul led Timothy’s mother to Christ. Timothy was also converted and even at a young age, became a follower of the Apostle Paul.
Acts 16:1 “Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father [was] a Greek:”
Paul even comments of the parental heritage of Timothy as he wrote the book of Second Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Timothy became active in Christian work. It seems that Timothy was destined for special service unto the Lord beginning at an early age. Paul would soon take Timothy with him on his missionary endeavors. Timothy would perform the work of an evangelist. Timothy would accompany Paul throughout Galatia, Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and then to Athens. There were times that Paul sent Timothy to different cities to carry on the ministry that Paul had started. Timothy is mentioned in several of his letters to different churches. Some of times are…
2 Corinthians 1:1”Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy [our] brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:”
Philippians 1:1 “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:”
Colossians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus [our] brother,”
1 Thessalonians 1:1 “Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians [which is] in God the Father and [in] the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Eventually Paul would be sent to Rome. It was there that Paul would write his Prison Epistles. His last three letters would be known as the Pastoral Epistles. Two of the three Pastoral Epistles would be written to his beloved Timothy.
As I read the scriptures about Paul and Timothy, I read of two men of God that had heart-felt love for each other. Timothy was not only a servant of Paul, he was a large part of Paul’s ministry. I have much love for my Pastor Dr. Allen Barker. We are not only co-laborers with Christ, but we also share a tremendous love for each other. I am not just his Second Man, I am also his friend. I pray that our love for each other will never change. As long as Pastor Barker and I walk with the Lord and desire to be 100 percent in the Will of God; then our relationship should never change.
Paul and Epaphrus
Colossians 1:7-8 “As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Colossians 4:12-13 “Epaphras, who is [one] of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them [that are] in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
This is a man that is not spoken of many times in the scripture. This is a man that was concerned over those that Paul had led to the Lord. He was also a fervent warrior of prayer. He prayed over the people that he ministered unto. He was a blessing to Paul in that he reported of the spiritual welfare of the people of the church at Colosse and other churches in Asia Minor. His dedication unto the Lord and to the Apostle Paul eventually led to his imprisonment.
Philemon 1:23 “There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;”
Paul and Titus
Paul was an exceptionally busy man. For Paul to accomplish everything that the ministry demanded he always needed helpers or Second men in the work of the Lord. Titus was another one of Paul’s servants.
Titus was known as a trusted companion of the Apostle Paul. He was born of Gentile parents and was one of the delegation from Antioch that accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem at the time of the council.
Galatians 2:1-3 “Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with [me] also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:”
Paul calls Titus his true son and was possibly one of the Apostle Paul’s converts.
Titus 1:4 “To Titus, [mine] own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.”
Titus was with Paul at Corinth and was sent there to correct certain abuses that had concerned Paul. Titus rejoined Paul later at Macedonia to give him a good report of the progress at Corinth. It has been traditionally known that Titus delivered the letter of Second Corinthians to the Corinthian church sometime later.
2 Corinthians 8:6 “Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.”
2 Corinthians 8:16 “But thanks [be] to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.”
2 Corinthians 8:23 “Whether [any do enquire] of Titus, [he is] my partner and fellow helper concerning you: or our brethren [be enquired of, they are] the messengers of the churches, [and] the glory of Christ.
Paul wrote on of his fourteen epistles to Titus. Paul told Titus to stay in Crete to ordain elders and set things in order .
Titus 1:5 “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:”
Paul’s letter to Titus is an instructional pastoral epistle. Paul instructs Titus of the needs of the local church. The book of Titus is used and preached from by Pastors in our day as a guideline in building local churches. The book of Titus stresses the importance of maintaining good works among the believers.
Titus is only mentioned on one other occasion. Titus was in Dalmatia when the Apostle Paul was beheaded.
2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Titus impresses me as a mature, faithful servant of the Lord. Paul entrusted Titus with much responsibility. Titus accomplished the work of the Lord as a faithful disciple. Some Second Men desire to stay close to the Pastor. There came a time when Paul wanted Titus to serve the Lord in different localities. More was accomplished because of this separation. I want God to use me to help our Pastor to accomplish the work of the Lord.
The Qualifications of the Second Man
I started preaching at the age of twenty after a Revival Meeting in May of 1978. God had called me to preach four years earlier but I ran from the call of God. After deep conviction and a seasoned time of surrender, I told the Lord that I would do whatever He wanted me to do. My Pastor was very strong about a man being qualified to preach the everlasting truths of God’s Word. I am thankful that I can follow those qualifications and by the Grace of God I hope that I will always be qualified to be a God-called preacher.
The qualifications of the Second Man are just as important as the qualifications of the Pastor. The Second Man has the same calling to preach and to be a Pastor as does the Pastor of the local church.
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE PREACHER
1 Timothy 3:1-7 “This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
In these last days of the last days, we must continue to preach God’s Word. Paul to young Timothy moments before Nero would behead Paul…
2 Timothy 4:1-5 “ I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
God’s calling upon a man to be a preacher is the greatest calling of all callings. However, to be called of God to preach is confirmed by the man’s ability to follow scriptural qualifications. One might believe that he can have more than one wife and be a Second Man. This is wrong because it is unscriptural. The Second Man might one day be the Pastor. People in the congregation might need the leadership and the advice of the Second man in the temporary absence of the Pastor. The Second Man must bear the same qualifications of the Pastor.
Every preacher signs their name with a life’s verse with it. My life’s verse is found in First Corinthians 9.
1 Corinthians 9:13-18 “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live [of the things] of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for [it were] better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation [of the gospel] is committed unto me. What is my reward then? [Verily] that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.”
The key phrase of the text is verse sixteen. “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
All through the years I have asked the Lord for three things, a place to preach, a truth to preach, and to keep me right in God’s sight so that I can preach. God has been so faithful these twenty-one years. I appreciate every open door to preach God’s Word. I have preached in fourteen states and five foreign countries. I just want the Lord to use me as a preacher and a Second Man here at Turner’s Creek Baptist Church.
THE QUALIFICATION OF A SERVANT
Bro. Steve Roberson is the Co-Pastor of the Gospel Light Baptist Church in Walkertown, North Carolina. Bro. Steve has held this position for over twenty-five years. In a recent interview I questioned him concerning the greatest attribute of the Second Man or a church staff member. He responded by sternly saying, “The greatest attribute of the Second Man is that of a Servant. The Second Man must have a servant’s heart.13
The word “servant” in the Greek language is the word “doulas.”14 This word is defined as “a willing servant to God or a willing servant to man. A bond slave.” The key is to be willing. This word does not imply that one is forced to serve, but is totally willing to serve. Paul used this word as he introduced several of his epistles.
Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,”
Philippians 1:1 “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:”
Titus 1:1 “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;”
The Lord Jesus Christ had a servant’s heart. This was displayed when he washed the disciple’s feet and expounded by the Apostle Paul in the book of Philippians.
Philippians 2:3-8 “ [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
A good Second man must be willing to be the “Champion behind the Champion.”15 He must be willing to perform whatever duty his Pastor desires. He must be a silent servat and not desire the first place in the public eye. He must perform his duties and keep an attitude that he is allowing the Pastor to be more time in the study preparing himself for preaching. He must follow the scriptural truths of a servant. He must learn to die to self.
Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
John 12:26 “ If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will [my] Father honour.”
Colossians 3:22-25 “Servants, obey in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:” And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Colossians 4:1 “Masters, give unto [your] servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”
-Romans 12:10,11 “ [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”
Dr. Wally Beebe well said, “In this day of negotiated salaries and the I don’t do this mentality, it is good to read what God thinks about the dignity and satisfaction of serving others!”16
It is easy for the Second Man to feel that his ministry is little known, little appreciated, and little rewarded. Sometimes it seems that our ministry is “but a small thing.” Moses said to the Sons of Korah..,
Numbers 16:9-11 “[Seemeth it but] a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And he hath brought thee near [to him], and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also? For which cause [both] thou and all thy company [are] gathered together against the LORD: and what [is] Aaron, that ye murmur against him?
The Sons of Korah were mere servants to Aaron as they served in the Tabernacle. These servants had become weary and had felt that their job was not important. The Sons of Korah wanted the priesthood. They would die because of their rebellion against God’s Man. We must remember that there is no act of service unto the Lord that is small. We must remember that God does not forget our service unto Him. We must keep a servant’s heart at all times.
HEBREWS 6:10 “For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
“IS THE PLACE YOU’RE CALLED TO LABOR
SEEM SO SMALL AND LITTLE KNOWN.
IT IS GREAT IF GOD IS IN IT…
FOR HE’LL NOT FORGET HIS OWN.”
“LITTLE IS MUCH WHEN GOD IS IN IT
LABOR NOT FOR WEALTH OR FAME
THERE’S A CROWN AND YOU CAN WIN IT
IF YOU GO IN JESUS NAME.17
The Need for the Second Man
Oftentimes I receive phone calls from Pastors wondering if, and when is the correct time to hire a Second Man or a new staff member. I usually the question by asking these questions “Is every facet of your ministry being completed? Is the work of the ministry too much for one man to accomplish? Are there very important matters in the church that need someone else’s attention? Can your church afford to pay a new staff member without any strain on the church finances?”
In God’s Will, a Second Man, lifting the load and working tirelessly, is just as sacred a calling and just as satisfying a position as being the Pastor of any church.18
A busy Pastor never accomplishes everything that he wishes to. Sometimes he can hire a person part-time or he can use a retired person in his congregation to assist him with daily ministry. As his congregation grows, the need for a Second Man could become very evident. The church at Jerusalem needed help as people were saved and they grew in number.
Acts 6:1-3-“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples [unto them], and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”
The Acts 6 text is referring to ordaining Deacons to serve in the church. In our day, deacons desire to be administrators instead of servants to the church and servants to its Pastor. If the Pastor is going to be a man of prayer and a man of the Word then he must have help. A God-called Second Man can enhance the ministry of the church and increase the ministry of the Pastor. Church members have needs. Sickness, tragedy, and death comes to the people of our congregation. They need the Men of God to be present to comfort their hearts in time of need.
THE SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF THE CHURCH
The Second Man should be able to assist the Pastor in performing the spiritual duties of the church. The spiritual duties should be his priority. A spiritual duty is a ministry that is active in the church that follows the concept of Matthew 28:19,20.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Every ministry in the local church should revolve around winning souls to Christ, baptizing new converts, and training believers. The Second Man should be a soul-winner and should be mature to be able to train new converts. In larger churches, it is impossible for the Pastor to personally operate every ministry. If any program or ministry in the church is not properly supervised or administrated then there is a need for a Second Man. The Second Man supervises different ministries of the church but the Pastor is always the overseer of every ministry of the church.
The Second Man is a gift to the church just as the Pastor is a gift to the local church.
Ephesians 4:11-14 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
To any sized ministry, the Second Man is of vital importance to the church. He has the same spiritual abilities as the Pastor to mature the saints, assist in the work of the ministry, and to the encouraging of God’s people. The Second Man should be versed and very able to teach God’s Word. Many Second Men are Sunday school teachers, Youth Directors, Visitation Directors, and lead other departments in the spiritual growth of the church. I teach the New Converts Class, work in the Bus Ministry, and fill the pulpit for our Pastor in his absence. The Second Man should also be trained to conduct weddings, funerals, Radio broadcast, and Nursing Home ministries. My wife and I counsel with many of our members as we desire to see them grow spiritually. It is our policy to confer with our Pastor as we counsel with people. Pastor Barker and I want to advise our people with the same instructions. We communicate freely as we want to work as co-laborers to see our people grow in Grace and in the Knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some Second Men are hired for specific ministries in the church. Some are called Ministers of Music, Youth Directors, Ministers of Visitation, Ministers of Education, Youth Pastor, Minister of Youth and Music, Junior Church Pastor, or Camp Director. These specific callings are usually found in large city churches.
The Operational Needs of the Church
It takes much time, effort, blood, and sweat to operate the church. The Church is much more than the weekly services of the church. If a church hires a Second man, he must realize that there are other needs in the church besides spiritual needs.
Larger churches have staff members that are maintenance people. Larger churches are able to have many staff people that only perform certain duties. Our church has approximately 600 members. We are not able to hire people for each need of the church. Some time ago I preached in a High School chapel. I was introduced in this fashion,
“We are happy today to have Preacher David Maynard with us. I am not sure whether he is the Associate Pastor, Assistant Pastor, or the A-Pastor of the Turners Creek Baptist Church.”
After the chapel I asked the School Principal what he meant by the “A-Pastor.” He said that this stands for the “Anything Pastor.” I believe that this title fits my position the best. I perform secretarial duties, I fix buses, I paint walls, I sow grass, I clean storage buildings, I mop floors, I arrange the gymnasium for special events, I cut wood, and I DO WHATEVER NEEDS TO BE DONE TO MAKE MY PASTOR’S JOB EASIER. I PERFORM WHATEVER TASK NECESSARY TO KEEP MY PASTOR IN HIS STUDY PREPARING HIS HEART FOR THE SERVICES. I AM HONORED TO BE GOD’S SERVANT AND MY PASTOR’S SERVANT. I DO NOT BEGRUDGE MY DUTIES!!! There are some other Men of God that ridicule my job. They say that I am a second-rate preacher. It is a blessing to be a servant. I believe that I will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ for my faithfulness to my Pastor. I believe that it would be wise for Second Men to forget their titles and just roll up their sleeves to do the work of God that is laid before them. We should never have the attitude that we are “too good” to perform any task that comes to pass in our church. Dr. Wally Beebe has stated so well, “..it is hard to find a servant-type person who is interested only in serving the Lord and the pastor’s welfare in building the church.”19 One preacher has well-said that a good Second Man “all things to all men.” Mrs. Edith Shore is one of the godliest women that I know. She encouraged my heart some days ago by telling her Sunday school class..” God gave us real servants when He gave to our church Preacher and Mrs. Maynard.”
Bro. Steve Roberson preached a great message at the South wide Baptist Fellowship entitled “The Second Man.” Bro. Steve’s Dad, Dr. Bobby Roberson introduces him before he preaches. Bro. Steve performs the duties of three men at Gospel Light Baptist Church. Bro. Steve has been offered the pastorates of many good churches in America. Gospel Light also has a tremendous assistant pastor, Bro. Frank Shumate. Bro. Steve and Bro. Frank is a great asset to the ministry at their church. They care for the spiritual needs of the church and the also care for the operational needs of the church.
The word of this song have been motivational to me for many years as it is my desire to be used of the Lord in meeting the needs of the local church…
JESUS USE ME
Dear Lord I’ll be a witness
If you will help my weakness
I know that I’m not worthy Lord of thee;
By eyes of faith I see thee
Upon the cross of Calvary
Dear Lord I cry, Let me thy servant be.
Jesus use me, and O Lord don’t refuse me
For surely there’s a work that I can do
And even though its humble
Lord help my will to crumble
Though the cost be great, I’ll work for you.
I’ll stand for thee Dear Jesus
Though death may come my way
I’ll spread the Gospel to the fallen here;
And if it be thy will Lord, to go across the sea
Help me to be willing to say Yes.
He’s the Lilly of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul
He’s the beautiful Rose of Sharon, he’s all the world to me
But best of all he is my coming King !!20
The Relationship Between the Pastor and the Second Man
At face value, it would seem that the relationship between the Pastor and the Second Man would be like the relationship between a boss and his employee. The relationship between the Pastor and his Staff is much more.
The Pastor should be addressed with honor and esteem. He should never be called by his first name. I have always called our Pastor, “Preacher, or Preacher Barker, Pastor Barker, or Bro. Barker.” This is how I address in his presence and also in his absence. I address him with respect in public and in private. I use the same respect with his wife. I call her “Mrs. Jan or Mrs. Barker.” On one occasion I called her the “First Lady.” She had never been called that before. I’m glad that she didn’t think that I was calling her the President’s wife. It is very important that the congregation hears the fashion that we address the Pastor and his wife. We should set the example for the congregation to address them in the same manner.
As already stated, the Second Man is a servant. He draws no attention to himself but he constantly elevates the Pastor. When I am visiting the hospitals or a new home I will say, “Hello, I am Preacher David Maynard, I am Preacher Barker’s Assistant Pastor at Turner’s Creek Baptist Church.” When I fill the pulpit at our church, I constantly remind the people of our Pastor in Revival Services and how that we need to pray for him. I also remind our people that he is the Pastor whether he is present of absent in the services. At our church “When the Cat is gone, the Mice Don’t play.”
Sometimes idle talk arises. Some of the carnal, unspiritual people will brag on the Second Man and will belittle the Pastor. A wise Second Man should never give any attention to this Satanic activity. People will ask for the Second Man’s opinion concerning church matters of business. The Second Man would be wise to keep his opinions quiet. The carnal one asking for the opinion could spread gossip. There should never be anything said or done that would create a power-struggle between the Pastor and his Assistants. The Pastor could be wrong concerning some church matters. He is God’s servant and God knows how to take care of the Pastor.
The Second Man does not usurp authority over the Pastor. He has no authority to call business meetings, Deacons meetings, schedule services or conduct any authority without the Pastor’s consent. The Pastor and his Assistant should have regular personal meetings to discuss the church schedule. Pastor Barker and I meet each morning to plan the activities of the day, plan our hospital visitations, and discuss church problems or people that need immediate attention.
The Pastor’s wife and the Second Man’s wife are also co-laborers for Christ. They should work together to plan the Ladies ministries of the church. They can be used in specific areas of the church better than the men. Mrs. Barker, Mrs. Maynard, and I sing together in a trio. It is a wonderful blessing to see how the Lord placed us together as a team. I believe that the relationship between the Pastor, the Pastor’s wife, the Second Man, and his wife is much like a marriage. There must be a total commitment to each other as they have each committed themselves unto the Lord.
When you become a Second Man, keep your focus. Credit and glory belong to others but not to the servant of God. You many know it all, but if you lose your focus, you may become worthless to the Pastor and the cause of Christ. Pastor Barker never emphasizes his authority. He is concerned that we follow the teaching of 1 Corinthians 3.
1 Corinthians 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, [ye are] God’s building.”
I have been hesitant concerning this subject, but after much prayer, I want to deal with a demonic subject that has ruined the relationships of many Pastors and their Second Men. JEALOUSY AND ENVY has divided many Men of God.
Proverbs 6:34 “For jealousy [is] the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”
Song of Solomon 8:6 “ Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love [is] strong as death; jealousy [is] cruel as the grave: the coals thereof [are] coals of fire, [which hath a] most vehement flame.”
1 Timothy 6:4 “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,”
Titus 3:1-3 “ Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.”
1 Corinthians 3:3-4 “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I [am] of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”
Galatians 5:25-26 “ If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
James 3:14-16 “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.”
It was jealously and envy that ruined the relationship between King Saul and David, the shepherd boy.
1 Samuel 18:6-9 “And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered [one another] as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed [but] thousands: and [what] can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
Saul’s jealously would possess his mind as he tried to destroy David. Saul’s jealously would eventually lead him to his grave. Jealously between two Men of God will lead to the death of a ministry. God cannot bless any church that allows jealously and envy to stay among the people. Pastors can become jealous over their Assistant. The congregation shows the Assistant kindness. The Assistant is given gifts instead of the Pastor. I have made it a personal policy that I do not allow the people of the church to do anything for me unless they are also doing the same for the Pastor and his family.
The Assistant can become jealous over the Pastor. The Pastor is ever before the people. He preaches as the Assistant listens. The Pastor preaches revivals as the Assistant wishes that God would open doors for him. If the Assistant is not walking with God, then he will develop a jealous spirit. The Pastor’s wife and the Assistant’s wife must also be careful about developing a jealous spirit. Two men cannot work together if they have a jealous spirit. We must always keep a humble spirit and remember that God has a place and purpose for all of us. God will use us in his own way if we only will surrender to his perfect will.
The Pastor should be careful and organized as he deals with all of his staff members. He can show no favorites and work as a mediator if problems arise between the staff members. A well-known Pastor has written in one of his books21
“Duties should be kept separate. It is always wise to outline every a staff member’s duties and responsibilities. The staff member should be kept within his own field and not be allowed to overlap his responsibilities with other staff members. The pastor should show private and public appreciation. His congregation should realize that the pastor shares his success with his other staff members. A good staff spirit should be developed. Socials should be organized to create fellowship between the staff members and the pastor. Birthdays and Wedding Anniversaries should be observed among the staff. A annual Christmas party should be planned for fun and games. The pastor should be very discreet and proper with his lady staff members. Each staff member should show unselfishness to the pastor and each other. Most importantly, each staff member should not have to sacrifice his right to have a pastor. Staff members have personal problems. There are times that they need a pastor to comfort them.
O LORD, HELP US TO BE MASTERS OF OURSELVES THAT WE MAY BE SERVANTS TO OTHERS.
SIR ALEXANDER PATERSON
Choosing the Right Second Man
When Turner’s Creek Baptist Church was looking for a Second Man, a Deacon told me that finding a good Second Man was more difficult than finding the right Pastor. The practical truths that is outlined in this chapter could save a good, sincere Pastor from future heartaches and tears.
The first consideration of a Second Man should be the person’s call into the ministry. As stated earlier, the Second Man is considered a Pastor. A Pastor has a Call from God.
1 Timothy 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”
2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”
The church should decide what areas that a Second Man is needed. Then the church should begin to pray and seek for a qualified man that they feel that God is leading them to. The church needs to decide whether they want a man fresh out of college or a seasoned man that would not need much training.
A Second Man candidate should convey his particular calling. As time progresses, the Pastor and Deacons should meet the candidate and thoroughly question him concerning his calling, his convictions, and his God-given goals in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. The candidate should also give a complete doctrinal statement of his beliefs.
The Pastor should spend much time with the candidate. They will be working as a team. They need to be very clear about what they expect from each other. Convictions and personal preferences need to be discussed and agreed upon. The Pastor sets the convictions in the church, not the Second Man. Every conviction must be discussed. Dress, worldly amusements, tobacco, divorce, movies, mixed swimming, and other major issues as the authority of the King James Bible, and major doctrines must be agreed upon.
References need to be contacted. A church does not want to call a Second Man that has created problems for other pastors. A church does not want to call a man that is immoral or does not pay his bills. The church does not want to call a man that has family problems or has a family that does not support him as a preacher of the Gospel. If the Second Man must have a servant’s heart, then so must his wife. I would want to know if the man is willing to learn. If he does not seem to need teaching, he is a know-it-all. The church would not want that type of man.
If the church is serious concerning the man, then they should allow him to preach in the church and he should soon be introduced to the church. The church and the candidate should not reach any hasty decisions.
The church should be honest with the candidate. If there has been problems with prior men this should be discussed. The church should discuss the financial means that will care for the Second Man and his family. The church should convey to the candidate if they are looking for a part-time man or a full-time man. They should discuss whether this is a temporary position or a permanent condition as the Lord may lead. Some young men would consider the position as a Second Man a “stepping stone” to a greater ministry later. Some churches will use young men as a training tool but never hire a permanent Second Man. Some pastors hire men as a summer internship. All of these matters need to be clearly understood by the church and the prospective candidate. Some churches are requesting that the Second Man sign an agreement concerning the length of time that he will stay at the church. Some churches will even give the candidate a job description that explains the duties of the Second Man. Second Men can either be looking for experience and training, a rehabilitation move, or a lifetime calling.
The candidate should investigate the church. He does not want to lead his family into a church that is full of problems, does not pay its bills, or does not care for the needs of the staff members. The candidate does not want to get caught up in church politics. Churches sometimes will call a Second Man because they have a lazy preacher. Churches should be honest with the candidate if the situation should arise that the Pastor resigns. The Second Man should not seek the pastorate when he comes to a church, but he should know the feelings of the church if the Pastor would resign. I know of two situations where the Second Man felt that the church owed him the pastorate when the senior pastor resigned. This created a power struggle in the church and eventually divided both congregations. There was some lack of communication between the church and the Second Man. It is not advisable that the Second Man considers becoming the Second man in his home church or the candidate has any relatives as members of the church.
I still just over three years ago when God begin to put it in my heart that I was going to become the Second Man at Turners Creek Baptist Church. I had known Preacher Barker for years. I had worked in the Summer Youth Camps for four years. When we left the final week of Teen Camp in 1995, my wife and I were touched by God’s hand that we were one day coming to Turner’s Creek to work for the Lord. We went home and discussed this with our family and daily made this a matter of prayer. We came back that year in October to participate in the Old-Time Preachers Fellowship Campmeeting. Once again the Spirit of the Lord began to speak to my heart. I found myself crying out of control as I thought and prayed. The Preacher wanted us to have supper together sometime after the camp meeting. A few weeks later, we went to supper at Cracker Barrel in Greensboro.
After supper, Preacher Barker shared with me his burden to call a full-time Associate Pastor. Pastor Barker shared with me of how he needed a man to fill his pulpit when he was away. He needed someone with pastoral experience to visit and care for the needs of the congregation. I began to cry. My wife began to cry. I told the Preacher how the Lord had put this in our heart months before. We went home excited and trusting the Lord that He would work out all the details. I was pastoring another church and I did not want to leave hastily. The handwriting was on the wall. It seemed evident that the Lord was moving us to Turners Creek Baptist Church to be the Second Man.
Pastor Barker and I had frequent meetings to discuss our standards, convictions, personal goals, and vision for the ministry. We shared with each other our personal ways of doing God’s Work. We questioned each other about Bible Doctrine. Preacher Barker called my Pastor, Pastor Roger Baker for a recommendation. I came to preach at Turners Creek on various occasions during that year. Far above all other things the Lord done for me during that year, He began to crush my heart and give me the heart of a Servant. This was the most important confirmation that God wanted my family and I to come to Turners Creek Baptist Church.
For one year God worked out every detail for us to come to Turners Creek. I came and preached in October and the church voted to call me as Associate Pastor 100 percent. I resigned the church in Lewisville and came to Turners Creek in December of 1997. I cannot express the peace and satisfaction of being God’s Second Man and Pastor Allen Barker’s Second Man. I am in my third year as Associate Pastor. I am still excited about serving the Lord here at Turners Creek Baptist Church. My family and I are the most satisfied that we have ever been in the 19 years that I have pastored Independent Baptist Churches.
What Pastors Expect of Their Second Men
I realize that I am a Servant of the Lord. The Second Man is most accountable unto the Lord. However, the Second Man is to honor and obey the leadership of the Pastor. He is to obey the Pastor as a servant obeys his Master.
Proverbs 27:18 “Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.”
Hebrews 13:7 “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.”
Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.”
Colossians 3:22 “Servants, obey in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:”
1 Timothy 6:1 “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:9-10 “[Exhort] servants to be obedient unto their own masters, [and] to please [them] well in all [things]; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”
1 Peter 2:18 “Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”
THE PASTOR EXPECTS LOYALTY
Loyalty is of most importance. Anyone that serves as a Second Man should never forget that his first obligation is to the Pastor. The example of loyalty to the Pastor, will lead the congregation to also show their love and obedience to the Pastor. I am very careful of what I say concerning our Pastor. I always elevate his position in our church, in our community, in my personal family time, and among other Preachers, Missionaries, and Pastors.
THE PASTOR EXPECTS RESULTS
Each morning Pastor Barker calls my home and gives me a list of duties for the day or duties for the next couple of days. I do not feel that he gives me things to do just to keep me busy. I feel that my responsibilities are important. He expects me to perform those things that he wants me to do. If there would be nothing for me to do, then my job would be eliminated. I would be cheating the church by not giving the church a good days work. I have no time clock. Serving Christ each day is not a job that starts at 9 am to 5 pm. Serving Christ is a calling. Each day I begin my duties early and work late into the night if that is what is needed to complete my duties for that day. If it is a light day, then I begin early and I finish early. I am able to take one day a week as a day for myself. My day off is flexible. If emergencies arise then I try to always be available. Pastor Barker is not a dictator. We work together to get things done for the church. Usually there is much to be done concerning the needs of the congregation and the upkeep of the property. At the end of the day, I contact Pastor Barker to assure him that I have completed those things that he needed to be done. It pleases me for him to be happy with my efforts. I hear reports from other Pastors that Preacher talks with. They tell me how the Preacher appreciates my hard work and daily efforts. I want to the best Second Man that any Pastor could have on his staff. I desire to go the second mile as I serve my Lord and my Pastor.
Matthew 5:41 “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
THE PASTOR EXPECTS INTEGRITY AND HONESTY
Second Men perform many duties in the church. They have liberties that they are entrusted with. Second Men handle finances, people, problems, and the general business dealings of the church. Sometimes the Second Man can be caught in the middle in a situation. This is where honesty and integrity must prevail.
I am given church checks to daily care for sudden expenses or bus repairs. I am accountable for those checks. I keep all the receipts and place a check number on each receipt. I do not want to handle cash money. I have known of two situations where Second Men where stealing money from the church. One was the Pastor’s son. This created a large uproar in the church. I known another situation where a Second man was charging some of his personal expense to the church. This is also stealing. The man was fired and soon dismissed from the church. These matters give the cause of Christ a bad name.
Second Men also perform counseling with members of the church and sometimes people in the community. He should never counsel teenagers or women alone. This has led to rumors or immoral affairs. He should always have his wife with him. The Pastor should be informed of any personal counseling that the Second Man does.
The Second Man should be truthful with the Pastor in every ministry and situation. When problems arise, the Second Man should ask for wisdom from the Pastor. If the Second Man is keeping secrets from the Pastor, he must be ashamed of his ministry or his motives are selfish in what he is doing. If the Second Man makes a mistake in handling a matter, the Pastor must be informed. If the Second Man does not complete a task, the Pastor needs to know. The Second Man should not lie to the Pastor. They should always be honest with each other.
Sometimes people will come to the Second Man to schedule events in the church. People will want to schedule Weddings, family gatherings, Sunday school class socials, and other events. It is wise for the Second Man to discuss these matters with the Pastor. The Pastor may have a Revival meeting or another scheduled for the same time. My phone rings constantly with Missionaries wanting to come and share their burden. I always tell them to call Preacher Barker. This is not my responsibility. Pastors call desiring to use our Missions Home or Missions Apartments. Pastor Barker also keeps this schedule in his office.
Each year we have our Summer Youth Camps. We have four weeks of camp from ages four and up. I am honored to be the Camp Director. There are months of planning before camp begins. I constantly have meetings with Pastor Barker to ask for advice about any and all camp details. This makes camp run smoother.
In any ministry communication is most important. If I don’t take time to talk with the Preacher about church matters, then he will not know what is going on when others come to him concerning the same church business. I am not sure about what I am supposed to do, then I call the Pastor. We need to make sure that we are “on the same channel.” When I became Associate Pastor, Bro. Barker shared with me that he wanted to be informed about everything that is going on in the church. Honesty and integrity is a spiritual, organizational, and best way to operate God’s ministry.
I try to be selective of my times when I discuss matters with the Pastor. Sundays are not usually good times to discuss problems or situations that need attention. I respect the fact that Sundays are the times that the Pastor is pouring out his heart with his preaching of the Word of God. Sunday is not the right time to distract him from his preaching. Pastor Barker and I wish that the members of our congregation would give us the same courtesy. Many of them do not realize that we do not need to be distracted as we are spiritually and mentally preparing ourselves to preach God’s Word. There are exceptions from sickness and sudden death among our members. Some matters need immediate attention. Other matters can wait until after church on Sunday Night or early Monday Morning.
Romans 12:17 “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”
2 Corinthians 8:21 “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”
2 Corinthians 13:7 “Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.”
1 Thessalonians 4:12 “That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and [that] ye may have lack of nothing.”
Hebrews 13:18 “Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.”
1 Peter 2:12 “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
The Second Man and Adjusting to a New Ministry
I am in my fourth ministry. Each ministry has offered new and different adjustments. I feel that this chapter is important whether the church has had other Second men or if you would be the first Second Man that the church has ever hired.
The church should help the Second Man and his family with any moving and moving expenses. I appreciate how that one church I pastored planned meals for one week so my wife would not have to cook. One church had a house-warming for us. That was very helpful as we needed many small items to start housekeeping. When I came to Turner’s Creek, the ladies of the church went over and beyond the call of duty. They did everything for us. They realized that I also was helping to care for my mother as she was in the hospital.
My first item of business would be to get to know the people that you will be ministering to from day to day. If the church had a picture directory, I would work toward putting names with faces. You will make mistakes. You will probably make some embarrassing mistakes. You will probably put the wrong wife with the wrong husband or put the wrong parent with the wrong child. It can be quite humorous. It will take time for you and your family to get to know the people, where they live, and how to minister unto their personal needs.
Have someone visit with you that can show you where each shut-in lives. The shut-ins will become your prayer warriors and will graciously appreciate your visit. As you get to know the people do not show partiality and pass opinions when asked about situations. Some will want you to visit them so they can inform you about any problems or “trash” in the church. An experienced Second Man will not ear to such criticism. As you visit in the community there will be neighbors that will wish to tell you about the church that you are now pastoring. They could have been offended years before or did not understand the standards or could not take the strong preaching or biblical standards. It would pay to not become controversial concerning past situations. Just drop by to offer your assistance as a new neighbor in the community.
Sometimes the new man will hear criticism from former employees or other staff members of the church. These words of criticism are not worth wasting our day. Sometimes this comes from those that wish to vent their frustrations upon someone that has not heard their complaints. Be very kind to these people but you do not need to spend your whole day with them. These situations hinder the work of God. If you do come to a ministry that has weathered many problems I recommend that the new man not discuss past problems with anyone. We need to “bury the axe” or “put the past in the past.”
Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Don’t be bothered if some do not take to the new Man in the church. Some people are automatically judgmental because of a new man’s age, education, background, children, so something small that is not important. We Baptist have always been prone to judge someone without really knowing them and their family. Some people are hard to get to know and some have been wounded by other pastors and churches. Time will make a change if you will be faithful to the Lord and to the people that you serve.
Many young pastors make the terrible mistake of moving to fast. They have much zeal and want to change everything overnight. To try to change things immediately would give an impression that nothing was right in the church before the man came to work in the church. It would be wise for the Second Man to simply follow the Pastor’s leadership and take things slow. The Second Man should not do anything without the Pastor’s approval. This ministry may do things different than your last ministry or different than your home church. It pays to “go with the flow” until a time that change is necessary. Preacher Barker has a certain way that he wants things accomplished. He wants things done immediately. I have learned what he likes and what he dislikes. I desire to do want he wants done. After three years I know how he operates the ministry. I do not have to ask him about everything. I know how he wants it done. The longer that you stay at a church, the more confidence the people will place upon your leadership. It is then when changes are easier to make. The church was not perfect when you came there, and it will not be perfect when you leave. Preacher Eugene Goodman had told many preacher boys, “They will call you Pastor, but they will not make you Pastor until you have been there for about four years.” That seems discouraging, but it is a very true statement. I would not take it for granted when I would want to make changes. I would still pray much and move slow. It sometimes takes years to convince people that changes need to be made. If the other leadership can see the need for a change, then you can lead the church to make changes, not demand of them to make changes.
Never betray the Pastor. Always inform the Pastor about every situation. Be faithful in your service to the church. Always tell the Pastor about your message that you will preach when he is away. In the beginning, do not preach on controversial topics. Feed the people the Word of God. Do not go to the pulpit with the idea of competing with the preaching of the Pastor. If the Pastor is absent, and you are in charge of the service; you are to carry out the service exactly the way that the Pastor has instructed you. The Pastor and the church leaders will appreciate your loyalty. When I preach in another man’s pulpit, I carry out the service in the fashion that I am instructed.
One final thought. The Man of God and his family are always on trial. Never, never, never take that for granted. People are watching our lives. Our testimony will make us or break us.
Proverbs 22:1 A [good] name [is] rather to be chosen than great riches, [and] loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.
2 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
2 Timothy 2:21-24 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low and the debts are high
When cares are pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.
Life is sweet with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a person turns about.
When they might have won if they had stuck it out.
Don’t give up when the pace seems slow,
You might succeed with another blow.
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup
And when he learned too late with the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
So stick to it when you are hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!
The Second Man and His Family
This final chapter is of most importance. Preaching, teaching, and administering family values are one of the most important subjects and functions of my ministry. I enjoy preaching on the home more than any other subject in the Bible. I am asked to preach on the home at least one night when I am away preaching Revival Meetings. It breaks my heart to counsel with a pastor and his wife. Each week Pastor Barker or I hear another pastor’s home that is divided or is in a continual mess. One well-known Christian marriage counselor has said, “Divorce statistics and marriage “scandal” seem to strike church leaders and families just as they do the unchurched- while the ramifications of a bad witness to young believers and the lost are devastating.”22 It is sad when the pastor and his wife cannot help the marriages in their church because their own marriage is in a mess. It is difficult to help parents with their children when the pastor and his wife cannot control their own children.
1 Timothy 3:4-5 “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
The family was ordained in the Garden of Eden and was the first institution that God organized.
Genesis 1:27,28 “So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Genesis 2:21-25 “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
The New Testament Church was not organized until after the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The mention of this local church was first mentioned in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 2:41-47 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Many preachers, evangelists, and second men want to separate church ministry from the needs and ministry to their own family. I believe that this is unscriptural. Many become to busy in the ministry and the family is neglected. As already stated, the Bible teaches that the home was ordained first in the Garden of Eden and then the local church was instituted later.
I have been in the ministry for nineteen years. My first pastorate was a small ministry of less than 100 members. I pastored King Community Church in King, North Carolina from 1980 to 1987. I pastored and worked a public job for the first three years of that eight year pastorate. I neglected my family. I went to work at 5 am. I would leave work at 3 pm, run hospital rounds, visit shut-ins, preach Revival meetings, and conduct church business. Seven days a week I thought that I was doing right by staying busy for the church. There came a time that my wife and children began to complain. I could sense that they hated the ministry because the ministry had taken their husband and daddy away from them. I was young in the ministry and felt that the Lord would have me stay busy in the work of the Lord. I had much zeal but little knowledge. It was a wonderful Wednesday Night when the church voted 100 % to have me as their full-time pastor. God met a wonderful need in my life. My family and I were so excited about being full-time in the ministry. The first Monday morning I stayed in bed and rested instead of getting up and going to work. My two-year boy Nathan came into our bedroom and screamed. My wife followed him back to his bedroom and questioned him about his fear. He tearfully replied, “Momma, who is that man in the bed with you.” He thought that I was at work and wondered who that man was in the bed with his mother. That was another evidence that I had been too busy in the ministry. If a man loses his family then he has lost the most precious earthly thing that God has ever given him. I had to realize that God did not give me a family to neglect them. I hear many other pastors say, “I regret that I did not spend more time with my family.” It is my God-given responsibility to care for the needs of my family. My wife deserves time with her husband and my children deserve time with their daddy.
In 1987 the Lord moved me to my next pastorate the Bluestone Baptist Church in Clarksville, Virginia. My youngest son Seth was just a year old when we moved to Virginia. Seth’s conception and birth was a miracle from God. God especially used Seth in those days to be a blessing to my wife. It was during those years that the Lord strengthened our family ties. I have committed to the Lord that I will never again neglect my family.
I involve myself in my family’s activities. I have allowed my children to play Little League Baseball and other sports. They are fully involved unless a ball game or a practice falls on a church night. Then we explain to the coaches of our commitments to the Lord. Second Men need to be careful that they do not neglect the family that the Lord has given them. Any servant of the Lord can become to busy in the ministry. God gives us our family to serve the Lord together.
There will be times that the family will have to sacrifice their husband or father because of church related emergencies. A pastor or second man cannot plan for sickness and death in the church. Sometimes they will need to away preaching Revival Meetings or Mission conferences. The wife and children must have an understanding spirit. When I am called upon and I must sacrifice time with my family, I sacrifice other time to spend it with my family. I have let others plan our Thursday Night Soul winning to have time with my family.
I have two weeks of vacation each year. These are special weeks just for the family. I save our money just for vacation time. We go off somewhere to relax, laugh, and have fun. We all deserve it. Several times in the year my wife and I plan overnight short trips. As I have read the book of Song of Solomon I read that Solomon and his wife planned time to get away…
Song of Songs 2:8-13 “The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice. My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over [and] gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines [with] the tender grape give a [good] smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Each day God’s Men should spend time with their family. I try to schedule my day around the needs of the church and the needs of my family. If my family is busy and gone from the house, I try to stay busy with church activities. When the family is home, then I try to be at home with them. There are many kids that grow up hating the ministry. They feel that God has taken their father away from them. This can especially be true for the children of a full-time evangelist, a gospel singer, or a missionary. We must not give our family the impression that they are second-rate.
Many others believe that they can live a godly life at the church and at the same time live ungodly lives at home. The Bible gives strict guidelines and qualifications concerning the home life of the Man of God.
1 Timothy 3:1-5 “This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Titus 1:5-6 “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
The man of God must lead by example. I have always felt the qualifications of the pastor and his family was for the example of Christ. This is the reason that the pastor must be the husband of one wife. We cannot stand against separation, divorce, and remarriage if we are guilty of the same sins. We cannot help the parents of our churches if our children are unruly and rebellious. Jesus desires to be Lord over our marriages and the raising of our Children.
The High Priest Eli could not restrain his family in the days of his priesthood. This eventually lead to his death, the death of his family, and the removal of the Ark of the Covenant.
1 Samuel 2:12-17 “Now the sons of Eli [were] sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. And the priests’ custom with the people [was, that], when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a flesh hook of three teeth in his hand; And he struck [it] into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the flesh hook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither. Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
And [if] any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and [then] take [as much] as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, [Nay]; but thou shalt give [it me] now: and if not, I will take [it] by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
1 Samuel 2:22-25 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for [it is] no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.
1 Samuel 4:14-22 “And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What [meaneth] the noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli. Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. And the man said unto Eli, I [am] he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son?7 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years. And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, [near] to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard [it]. And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.
Eli’s position in the ministry did not give him a right to allow his children to live immoral lives. Some men think that they can use their position as pastor or second man to set their rules. My dad used to say, “What is good for the goose is also good for the gander.” It is hard to believe that one man’s home would bring such sudden destruction and utter chaos. God is very concerned over our home life.
Hezekiah was warned of God to “set his house in order.” God gave him a longer life because he obeyed God and repented of his sin.
2 Kings 20:1-11 “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done [that which is] good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid [it] on the boil, and he recovered. And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What [shall be] the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?
And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
These verses also apply to the homes of Men of God. We should always endeavor to keep our home life in a godly order. It is very hypocritical to live one way at church and another way in the home. The Lord still demands Lordship in our marriages.
Psalm 127:1-5 <A Song of degrees for Solomon.> “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain. [It is] vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: [for] so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward. As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so [are] children of the youth. Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
My wife and I have claimed these verses as our life verses. Psalm 127 was printed on our Wedding Bulletin. I have preached from these verses on many occasions. The Second Man must have a godly home life in ministry and should work hard to maintain a godly home life.
The business and pressure of the ministry can hinder one’s home life. A good Second Man will try to keep from bringing church business into his personal home life. We should never crucify the church members in front of our family. We should never neglect our families because of the problems and heartaches that the ministry demands. If we continually condemn the work of the Lord in front of our family, our family will not have a desire to serve the Lord as they become adults.
It is my desire to be the best Second Man in America. However, I would rather be a good husband and daddy than the best Second Man. Some men are consumed in pastoring the largest church. That is well and good and I am the Associate Pastor of a growing New Testament Baptist Church. But, we must win our children to Christ before we win our community to Christ. Someone once said, “The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that will rock the world.”
In my ministry, I have been able to help many broken marriages with their minor and major problems. But more importantly, it is necessary to overcome the problems of my marriage relationship to my wife. I want to stop and thank the Lord for how He has blessed my home life.
MARRIAGE TAKES THREE
I once thought marriage took
Just two to make a go
But now I am convinced
It takes the Lord also.
And not one marriage fails-
Where Christ is asked to enter
As lovers come together
With Jesus at the center.
But marriage seldom thrives
And homes are incomplete
Til He is welcomed there
To help divert defeat.
In homes where God is first
It’s obvious to see
Those unions really work.
For marriage still takes three.