Pertinent Precepts for Pastors

  • Home
  • Resources
  • Articles
  • Pertinent Precepts for Pastors
  • I am reading J.D. Grey’s Epitaphs for Eager Preachers. It was written before I was born – in 1972. I recently saw it on the pastor’s shelf where I was preaching. And the title caught my attention.

    The late Dr. James David Grey was the pastor of First Baptist Church of New Orleans for 35 years and president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention in 1951-52. At forty-four, he was the youngest person ever elected to the SBC presidency.

    Beyond that, he apparently went by initials. Way cool.

    Early in the Epitaphs, Grey quotes an anonymous piece called “Pertinent Precepts for Pastors” about the activities and appearance of the preacher.

    Here it is…

    Pray every night and shave every morning.

    Keep your conscience clean, and your linen.

    Let your light shine and shine your shoes.

    Press your advantages, your opportunities, and your trousers.

    Brush the cobwebs from your brain and the dandruff from your collar.

    A delinquent debt in a parish is like an addled egg in an omelet.

    Be poor in spirit but not in vocabulary.

    You can’t put fire in your sermons unless there is fire in your heart.

    It is better to lose a good fight than to win a bad one.

    Call in the homes of men if you would have men call in the House of God.

    The approval of God is more to be desired than the patronage of a rich, unscrupulous pewholder.

    Always be content with what you have but never with what you are.

    J.D. Grey, Epitaphs for Eager Preachers, pp. 20-21


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.

    Jesus Has The Last Word

    And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the…

    Praying With The End In Mind

    To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of…

    The Most Important Commandment

    And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Mark 12:28-34 Armies win…

    Lessons from a Childless Widow

    And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question,…