Brothers, we have got to encourage one another: I know some things about the guy who proceeded you where you are - there were some people who didn’t like him, maybe for some good reasons. And there were some people who didn’t like him for some really stupid reasons (he didn’t always wear white shirts, he wasn’t like their favorite preacher in style or approach)! There are some people who will say some bad things about him - try to spread rumors not knowing how it hurts.
I also know something about him - he preaches because he loves the Lord and the Kingdom - we don’t attract a lot of guys who are not that way into our pulpits. He may have lost his way, he may be burnt out or burnt up...his burn out may have led him to sin - but he didn’t start there...and if someone would show him unconditional love of the brethren he can be healed. He’s human - he does have flaws.
I know some things about you: There are days you think you are the best preacher ever. They may be rare but sometimes it just feels right and you are at your best and for a breath or two you think it. You would repent quickly of this pride but before you have the chance someone comes up and tells you you got Mary and Martha mixed up in your lesson or mispronounced Nahum, or that the commode in the ladies restroom won’t stop running or that the teacher in the 3 year old class didn’t show up or that the are mad at a decision or statement the elders or an elder made. Yet, there are moments when you soar. I also know that you carry a weight into the pulpit with you every week and that the longer you are in that pulpit the heavier that weight is. I know more often than you feel like you are the best, you think about quitting. I know you get weary...weary.
Most of all, I know some things about God: He is on your side. He is “for you” He wants you to be on each others side. To work for the spread of His Truth, His Kingdom, His Good News - His Side - not the enemies side. He loves you. Read that again - He loves me. You preach His love every week but you need to stop and remember that same love you tell others about is true for you too! On your worst day He still wants the best for you. On the day when you feel you have failed Him totally, He would still have given Himself for you. On the day you feel that your ministry is floundering He will not give up on you. So, don’t give up on each other. Believe the best about each other.
Philippians 1:15-18 “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”