Here is the third and final installment of my interview with Pastor Devin Ward of First Baptist Church Inwood. You can read the other installments here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).
What is an area of pastoral ministry that you wish you had been taught when you were in school?
I felt like I wasn’t as equipped as I needed to be when it came to church
leadership. I had to learn many things in the “School of Hard Knocks.” I had
picked up a few things on my own through reading but wish I had gotten more
hands-on experience from pastors who were my instructors at the time.
How do you keep yourself fresh and informed in the ministry? Are there books, magazines, blogs that you frequent?
Thankfully, I enjoy reading and am always open to periodicals, books and the
blog writings of some. I also enjoy reading commentaries and sermons by various
preachers that have been inspirational over the years. Some of my favorite
pastors, authors have been C.H. Spurgeon (earlier years) and Adrian Rogers,
Jerry Vines and John MacArthur in later years, each of whom have been very
successful pastors and mentors to preachers. There is a host of other
contributors that I draw and have drawn from.
Do you ever worry about becoming stale in the ministry?
I have not had problems with feelings of staleness but due to the death of my daughter in a car accident, personal health problems as well as health concerns of my wife, in addition to problems affecting the church which I pastor, I have faced stress and the feeling of having “run into a wall” at times. This was not present early in ministry and I combat these times of great burden by having devotional times with my wife, which has been a huge blessing in getting through the tougher times of ministry. Thank God for godly pastor’s wives!
Describe your ordination council.
Ordained pastors from the local area where I was being ordained (several of whom were my instructors in seminary) joined with my pastor at that time as well as the pastor I had when saved and called to preach to form my ordination council. I was asked to give testimony of my salvation as well as my call to preach, was questioned at great length about doctrinal and moral issues and later recommended that the church proceed with my ordination.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone aspiring to become a pastor?
Obviously, there is much advice that could be offered but one thing we have not
mentioned in this interview is the pastor’s relationship with his family. As
precious as time will be in the ministry, a pastor must not neglect his time spent
with his wife and family. We must not put their needs behind the needs of the
church family nor should we ever be guilty of being too harsh on them because of
the expectations people have on the pastor’s family. I have found in the study of
God’s Word that harshness on the part of a husband/father is extremely harmful
in building the family God wants us to have. This is especially true when it
comes to the minister/preacher who is also a father and a husband.
This concludes my interview with Pastor Devin. I hope that you are able to sense the love that he has for the ministry from the answers that he gave to the questions. Again, post any comments or questions you may have.