“Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:6.
Every man possesses some pride, but pride must not possess the man. That is the danger and likely outcome for the novice who is rushed into the ministry without proper preparation. His primary problem is not his age, although that is a factor; his greatest liability is his inability to comprehend God’s grace in relation to his own sinful nature and his lack of the experiences needed for humility and maturity. Paul’s concern is not only for the young minister, but also for the testimony of Christ.
The instruction and the reason are clear. The novice must not be put in charge of that which requires experience and maturity. Both David and Moses were chosen as young men, but neither was appointed until thoroughly trained and tried. No man is qualified to oversee the souls of others until his own soul has been subdued and humbled.
For the novice, the office itself is exhilarating; He stands before others and instructs them. He is applauded and admired by those who respect and esteem his office. The more successful he becomes, the more precarious is his standing and the more haughty his spirit. This is evidenced in posture, poise and pronouncement. No matter what topic is announced, in short time, the novice becomes the topic. Most of his preaching and teaching will be in the first person.
It is not the Devil who condemns the novice; his is the same sin that caused the fall of the Devil, and it will bring the neophyte down too. Pride goes before a fall. The novice is so inexperienced and self-confident he doesn’t know his own heart, thus, the thought that he could fall never enters his mind. If it does, he dismisses it immediately.
The lives of young men and the reputation of the ministry are far too important to be taken lightly. The warning is clear and the outcome is certain; so don’t ignore Paul’s counsel.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.