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His name is less well known than that of John Owen, Richard Sibbes and others whose works were reprinted in the 19 th and 20 th centuries and which continue to be available in various formats today. In his day, however, Hildersham was a leader of the Puritans and deserves to be better known than he is.

The book is a beautifully produced page, Bible-black, gold-embossed hardback. The author is well qualified to write this biography which is clearly the fruit of countless hours of careful research. Not only is she a professional historian, currently based at Warwick University, but she is also very sympathetic to her subject while never abandoning her critical faculty.

The book is made up of 14 fully footnoted and well written chapters, largely following a chronological order. The chapters not only provide an intimate portrait of a hero of the faith but also, as the title intimates, give an idea of the times in which Hildersham lived, thus providing a useful tool for the study of the period as well as the man. The book charts Hildersham's life from his birth to his death taking in his education, call to ministry, arrival in Ashby de la Zouch, his message and circumstances, his suspension, suffering and years of enforced silence and his final years.

A final chapter suggests ten lessons that can be learned from this quite remarkable life. This review also appears here. C S Lewis. The whole edition looks like it's worth getting I'm sure. Back in my salad days when I was green in judgement, some 20 or more years ago, I remember telling a congregation, by way of application, not to bother to read anything by C. I did not say he was of the devil or not a Christian, as some would maintain, but I thought there were better things to read.

I remember a young man challenging this statement, which I defended then but would now want to nuance quite a bit. Like all generalisations, including this one, it was inaccurate. But what prompted such a swingeing generalisation? More here Helpful Onesiphorus. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

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We know nothing about this man except what is here and in the passing reference in We are told four things about him. First, that he was eager to do good. Second, helping was his default position. Timothy would have been well aware as Paul says of how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. Thirdly, he refreshed or revived Paul in Rome, either by providing physical help or though his very words, perhaps. Fourth, he was not ashamed of my chains. He sounds like a wonderful Christian man. The way Paul writes here suggests he is dead by this point, hence the wish for his household to know mercy and for him to be granted mercy on that day.

Onesiphorus is one of the many unsung heroes of the New Testament that we catch only a glimpse of. Their counterparts are alive today and a church that has an Onesiphorus is a church that is blessed indeed. A lot depends on ministers but not everything. Without men who will be eager to do good, who help in different ways, who are able to refresh God's servants and who are not ashamed of Christ and his servants are a real asset.

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Appropriately, the name means "bringing profit". Tags: 1 Timothy , Devotional , Onesiphorus. A long term ministry - pitfalls and positives Positives 2. Here are the final positives.


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There is more likelihood that a minister will show self-control and discretion. Royer points out that if a man intends to stick around for some time to come. Motives are also sanctified to some extent.

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Anyone can be impressed by a new minister, it is the man who stays year after year whose inner life is exposed and really begins to make an impact. He must ring true if he hopes to prolong his labours through the years in one place. The impact of personal disappointment is diminished. This is a point that a writer called Richard Dreselhaus makes.

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Let me simply quote him. It is virtually impossible for me to recall a time in 45 years of pastoral ministry when I was not battling disappointment, a sense of falling short, of letting people down, of failing to reach goals or achieve objectives. When pastors stop the clock at any of these moments, the disappointment seems crippling. But when pastors focus instead on months, years, and decades, the hurts of the moments are swept away by the passing of time.

The Life and Times of Arthur Hildersham: Prince among Puritans

Let me personalize it a bit. Repeatedly I have reviewed the stats for a given Sunday and felt the cause was hopeless; but, when I saw that single Sunday against the backdrop of decades of ministry, the picture began to change. When evaluating goal achievement at the end of the year, it is tempting to ignore the progress of the decade and focus only on the shortcomings of a given year. The long pull matters. It is winning the war that eclipses the isolated battles that may be lost or won along the way.

One benefit of hindsight is that the valleys are lifted and crooked places are made straight. The criteria used for measuring ministerial effectiveness become increasingly more accurate and reliable. The perplexities of a given moment are diminished and minimized by the trustworthy verdict of passing time. I grieve when I see the premature resignation of a gifted minister. Hang in there. What is a day or two, a month or two, or even a year or two in light of a to year lifetime call to ministry?

I also am a realist. Sometimes a pastor has no control over things that happen. There is a right time to conclude an assignment. Leaving can be as much a step of obedience as staying. The fact remains, many pastors leave their assignment prematurely and by doing so miss the incredible opportunities longevity can bring.

Long range goals are possible. Royer observes that it is foolish to take a one size fits all approach to a pastorate. Successful methods in one place are rarely equally useful in another. It is also true that the same community and pastorate change vastly.

Many churches suffer from the arrival of a series of young men all with their own ideas. In Childs Hill the pattern from the fifties to the seventies was to caricature — a fundamentalist, followed by a Lloyd-Jones man, followed by an activist, followed by a Charismatic. Because these men only stayed between four and seven years they had an impact but no really lasting impact.

Meanwhile the church got pulled in this direction and that to no great purpose. You have the opportunity to see a generation rise. This may not apply quite where a congregation finds it hard to keep its young people but it is still a joy, for example, to know that someone I dedicated as a child is now on the mission field herself in France, a mother of three.

Beasley-Murray says. It is a wonderful privilege, for instance, to be involved with families over a period of time and to see those children brought for a service of dedication later confess their own faith in baptism; and then at a later stage to be involved in their marriage and even in the dedication of their children. You have an opportunity to see the teaching take root.


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Dreselhaus and others say that if you look at the work of the Barna Group, you will find that the median number of years pastors have served in their present assignment is four. According to Jerry Scruggs, with forced terminations on the increase, the median tenure for Southern Baptist pastors is barely three years; 'The Flexible Leade r', Search Winter , Other stats suggest maximum effectiveness does not occur until around the seventh year. Others note that growth often occurs between five and ten years in. You have the opportunity to see the impact of a full ministry.

It is not good for a church to keep changing its minister.

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Every time a change comes too soon the full impact of a ministry is not seen. Tags: long term ministry , pastorates , the ministry. A long term ministry — positives and pitfalls Warnings and Positives 1.


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So there is a fairly lengthy list of pitfalls. And I am not finished yet.