5. A WATCHMAN'S MODUS OPERANDI

Skills

"Christ's ministers are the spiritual guardians of the people entrusted to their care. Their work has been likened to that of watchmen. In ancient times sentinels were often stationed on the walls of cities, where, from points of vantage, they could overlook important posts to be guarded, and give warning of the approach of an enemy. Upon their faithfulness depended the safety of all within. At stated intervals they were required to call to one another, to make sure that all were awake and that no harm had befallen any. The cry of good cheer or of warning was borne from one to another, each repeating the call till it echoed round the city."

Connections

"To every minister the Lord declares: 'O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, . . . thou hast delivered thy soul' (Ezekiel 33:7-9)."

Courage

"The words of the prophet declare the solemn responsibility of those who are appointed as guardians of the church of God, stewards of the mysteries of God. They are to stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion, to sound the note of alarm at the approach of the enemy. Souls are in danger of falling under temptation, and they will perish unless God's ministers are faithful to their trust. If for any reason their spiritual senses become so benumbed that they are unable to discern danger, and through their failure to give warning the people perish, God will require at their hands the blood of those who are lost."

Sensitivity

"It is the privilege of the watchmen on the walls of Zion to live so near to God, and to be susceptible to the impressions of His Spirit, that He can work through them to tell men and women of their peril and point them to the place of safety. Faithfully are they to warn them of the sure result of transgression, and faithfully are they to safeguard the interests of the church."

Vigilance

"At no time may they relax their vigilance. Theirs is a work requiring the exercise of every faculty of the being. In trumpet tones their voices are to be lifted, and never are they to sound one wavering, uncertain note. Not for wages are they to labor, but because they cannot do otherwise, because they realize that there is a woe upon them if they fail to preach the gospel. Chosen of God, sealed with the blood of consecration, they are to rescue men and women from impending destruction."

APPLICATION

a. Principle Focus (review)

Modus operandi--the mode of thinking, operating, and serving as a watchman for the church of Christ in such a manner that those under your charge are safe because of your superior stewardship.

b. Scriptural Foundation (study)

Ezekiel 33 is one of the most hard-hitting chapters in the Bible as to the responsibility of ministers and Christian workers in discharging their true and full duty of informing, warning, and protecting the people of God as to their potential perils. This passage speaks of undeniable accountability.

c. Behavior Outcomes (model)

  • In teaching, counseling, and leading, I follow the Word of God and convey His known will.
  • Because of consistent and careful study, I will act in such a way that the blood of others is not on my hands.

d. Personal Assessment (evaluate)

How satisfied am I with the development of this characteristic in my ministry? (Circle one.)

1 2 3 4 5
Extremely
Dissatisfied
Somewhat
Satisfied
Extremely
Satisfied

e. Action Plan (implement)

What will I do to increase my effectiveness in this area? (Write your intentions.)





MEDITATION

"Lord, Your straight talk as to the accountability of a minister is almost unnerving. Who can stand? Yet I know that Your help is available. Further, as great as the responsibility is, so is the reward. Help me to know what I need to know; give me the courage to see the truth and say it as it is in You. Help me to be a diligent student of the Word, that I will speak Your truth and not my supposed truth. I understand that the weight of eternity is on me, so please help."