Pastoral Ministry



Jesus’ ministry consisted not merely in sermonizing, but in educating the people—We should seek to follow more closely the example of Christ, the great Shepherd, as He worked with His little company of disciples, studying with them and with the people the Old Testament Scriptures. His active ministry consisted not merely in sermonizing but in educating the people. As He passed through villages, He came in personal contact with the people in their homes, teaching, and ministering to their necessities. As the crowds that followed Him increased, when He came to a favorable place, He would speak to them, simplifying His discourses by the use of parables and symbols.—Evangelism, 203. PaM 285.2

Christ's preaching was simple and direct—His words were simple and direct, and no one need look in the dictionary to ascertain His meaning. A child could comprehend His teaching. And as He did His work, so are we to do ours, following His example.—The Signs of the Times, July 8, 1889. PaM 285.3

Jesus sought to meet the minds of the common people—We may do much in a short time if we will work as Christ worked. We may reflect with profit upon His manner of teaching. He sought to meet the minds of the common people. His style was plain, simple, comprehensive.—Evangelism, 565. PaM 285.4

None who listened to Jesus could feel neglected or forgotten—Jesus sought an avenue to every heart. By using a variety of illustrations, He not only presented truth in its different phases, but appealed to the different hearers. Their interest was aroused by figures drawn from the surroundings of their daily life. None who listened to the Saviour could feel that they were neglected or forgotten. The humblest, the most sinful, heard in His teaching a voice that spoke to them in sympathy and tenderness.—Christ's Object Lessons, 21. PaM 286.1

Christ broke up His listeners’ train of thought as little as possible—As Christ presented these truths to minds, He broke up their accustomed train of thought as little as possible. Nevertheless a new and transforming economy of truth must be woven into their experience. He, therefore, aroused their minds by presenting truth through the agency of their most familiar associations. He used illustrations in His teaching which called into activity their most hallowed recollections and sympathies, that He might reach the inner temple of the soul. Identifying Himself with their interests, He drew His illustrations from the great book of nature, using objects with which they were familiar.—Manuscript Releases 1:22. PaM 286.2

Jesus’ illustrations constantly repeated His lessons—The educated were charmed with Christ's teaching, and the uneducated were always profited; for He appealed to their understanding. His illustrations were taken from the things of daily life, and although they were simple, they had in them a wonderful depth of meaning. The fowls of the air, the lilies of the field, the seed, the shepherd and the sheep,—with these objects, Christ illustrated immortal truth; and ever afterward, when His hearers chanced to see these things of nature, they recalled His words. Christ's illustrations constantly repeated His lessons.—The Review and Herald, May 18, 1897. PaM 286.3