Many years ago, when I was just dreaming of entering the ministry (still in college), I got to meet Dr Edmund Clowney. He kindly autographed a book on ministry for me (the first one on the subject I ever read). He was a kind, godly man who took time for me — and left a good impression. (More recently, his IVP book on THE CHURCH has been very useful.).
Click on the photo for a TRIBUTE page for Dr Clowney (1917-2005).
Today I spotted this quote attributed to him. It’s right on the mark.
“The stairway to the ministry is not a grand staircase but a back stairwell that leads down to the servants quarters.”
The Pastor Emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois — Kent Hughes — has always been a help to me when I’ve heard him speak or read his many books and commentaries. He shares an insight about ministry which I have found to be true, but could not express nearly so well…
“To be a true minister to men is always to accept new happiness and new distress…The man who gives himself to other men can never be a wholly sad man; but no more can he be a man of unclouded gladness. To him shall come with every deeper consecration a before untested joy, but in the same cup shall be mixed a sorrow that it was beyond his power to feel before.”
— Philip Brookes
(quoted in R Kent Hughes, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome)