Pastors have a myriad of responsibilities, but none can replace the preaching of the gospel. In fact, all other activities must be permeated with the gospel message. Doing what matters most, and the only thing that ultimately matters for eternity is possible for every single preacher. Relentlessly preaching the gospel is not dependent on budgets, platforms, giftedness, technology, or anything else. All it takes to preach the gospel in a constant willingness.
Do you want to be a gospel-centered pastor? Just keep preaching the gospel. Doing so is much more than merely pinning John 3:16 to the tail of every sermon or conversation. The first person we must preach the gospel to is ourselves. The gospel must not merely be conceptualized as an abstract idea that we talk about but instead, what feeds our soul and compels our life and ministry. My ministry hero, Andrew Fuller (1754-1815), would often remind pastors, “The best way to hold fast the truth as a minister is to live upon it as a Christian.”
A pastor’s life must be built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and his gospel. As a pastor, I have found that when I am most discouraged, and my ministry starts feeling like drudgery, often it is because I have stopped thinking about the fact that, by God’s grace, I am a Christian. Sometimes my pastoral work and responsibilities eclipse the foundational reality that I am a child of God. When this tragic eclipse happens, my focus in pastoral ministry goes straight to performance, people-pleasing, failures, fears, and frustration.