He had many doubts about his work and his effectiveness, often wondering if he was being all that he could be for Christ. Yet he persevered and stuck to it, believing that his writing ministry – no matter how small of an outreach – was his divine calling, especially in his later years.
We should all know something about this great Bible teacher:
Arthur Walkington Pink died the year before I was born (1886-1952). The English Bible teacher who spent time in America and Australia was not as well known during his own lifetime, but after his death his writings became quite popular. He is well worth knowing about. Let me first offer a quick sketch of his life and work:
1886 Born in Nottingham, England
1908 Conversion to Christianity, after involvement in Theosophy and the occult
1910 Studies briefly at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago
1910-1915? Ministers in Colorado and California
1916 Marries Vera Russell
1915-1921? Ministers in Kentucky and South Carolina
1922 Studies in the Scriptures monthly magazine starts
1921-1925 Ministers in Philadelphia
1925-1928 In Australia
1928 Returns to London
1929-1934 In Kentucky, California and Pennsylvania
1934 Returns to England
1940 Moves to the Isle of Lewis, Scotland
1952 Dies in Scotland
I certainly know about Pink, having nine of his many books. But the immediate reason for writing this piece actually had to do with a comment that I received recently. Indeed, what follows will make this one of the more personal articles in this series.
The comment came to a piece in which I urged believers to keep at it, because we never know what sort of impact we might be having for Christ and the Kingdom. I often wonder about this, and often think I am not doing much good. The piece is found here.
Hopefully this commentator does not mind me sharing his comment, and then I will explain why I am raising all this here. This fellow wrote the following:
Bill, what you have done for so many will only be revealed the other side of this life. I have no doubt that there are many like me who don’t comment or communicate with you but read your post & have been reassured by you, strengthened by you, upheld by you when tempted to lose heart or worse & at the very time when it’s obvious you might be struggling yourself. You’re a brave man & a good man & I thank you for your service to us. I couldn’t write when I read this article yesterday because I was so overcome with emotion, so touching was your article to me……but today I want to thank you & encourage YOU. I’m reminded of AW Pink who became so discouraged as subscribers to his newsletters dropped off over time & pulpit opportunities closed, little knowing as history has revealed, that it was Pastors who were his mainstay & were preaching to their congregations from his works. What a wonderful surprise that will be to him. Thanks again.
I of course thanked him for such kind words, and mentioned that I would have to pull out my biography of Pink by Murray and revisit it. So that explains this present piece. In a few ways at least, Pink and I share some similarities. For example, he could get discouraged and depressed at times.
While having brief stints in church work and pastoral duties, he tended for the most part to be a man without a church or a denomination. So he was a bit of a lone wolf in some ways, although his pastoral heart is revealed in some 20,000 letters that he wrote to others, often to encourage them along the way.
In the end he sensed that a writing ministry was his main gifting to be used for the Body of Christ. His monthly magazine ran for 30 years until he died. Indeed, his final years in Scotland were lived in a rather reclusive fashion. He devoted most of his energies to writing articles.