Ministering Without R.C. Sproul

“R.C. Sproul’s life gave me the picture of a man striving to be faithful with the stewardship that God had entrusted to him.”

There are many fine men that God has raised up, but there was something about R.C. When I heard him and read him, I thought, “I believe this guy. He’s the real thing. He doesn’t care at the end of the day if he offends men, so long as he honors the Lord.” He cared about what people thought, of course, but he was less concerned about offending men than he was offending God.

 

Audio Transcript

Burk Parsons joins us one more time. He is the editor of Tabletalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries, and senior pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida, a church founded in 1997 by R.C. Sproul. R.C. passed into glory 38 weeks ago, on December 14. Burk, today I would love for you to share with us the legacy R.C. had on your ministry. And what’s it like now for you, pastoring without him? But maybe begin by telling us when you first came across R.C.

Many Mentors

I first came across R.C. Sproul and began to sit under his teaching in 1992. I first met him, if I’m not mistaken, in 1997, and then began working for him in 1999.

It’s very important, as in all our lives, that we have numerous men and women that the Lord has raised up to help us and come alongside and encourage us and mentor us.

I had numerous men — from the time I was converted to the time I went on staff at a Baptist church at the age of 19 — I had numerous men, not only from the Baptist church, but even from some sort of Pentecostal churches as well as an independent, fundamentalist Baptist church. Then numerous godly men mentored and shepherded me from the Mennonite church.

Not growing up in any one tradition, and not growing up really in the church at all, I came in and was immediately surrounded by godly, loving, gracious men that mentored and taught me.

When I came to hear R.C. and sit under his ministry, I thought, “You know, this is a guy that I believe.” I’d begun to listen to a lot of different pastors and preachers and had begun to study and to read.

Of course, there are many fine men that God has raised up, but there was something about R.C. When I heard him and read him, I thought, “I believe this guy. He’s the real thing. He doesn’t care at the end of the day if he offends men, so long as he honors the Lord.” He cared about what people thought, of course, but he was less concerned about offending men than he was offending God.

Ligonier and St. Andrew’s

In 1999 I went to work under him at Ligonier Ministries. In 2001 I went on staff at St. Andrew’s Chapel. In 2004 I was ordained to the gospel ministry of the pastorate. Really from that point on, we were preaching together and leading worship together.

The church continued to grow, and the Lord continued to add to our number as we just really honestly strived to be faithful to very ordinary things. We called these things “ordinary means of grace” — the word and prayer and baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We were not really being a program-driven church. We’re an attractional church really just because we were striving to be faithful to those ordinary means of grace that the Lord has given us, and trusting his sovereignty in their use in the church.

Read More