Why do you leave your own minister? If I see one come into my place from the congregation of another brother in the ministry, I would like just to give him a flea in his ear such as he may never forget. What business have you to leave your minister? If everyone were to do so, how discouraged the poor man would be. Just because somebody happens to come into this neighbourhood, you leave your seats. Those who are going from place to place are of no use to anybody; but those are the truly useful men who, when the servants of God are in their places, keep to theirs, and let everybody see that whoever discourages the minister they will not, for they appreciate his ministry. Again, let me say by often being present at the prayer-meeting you can encourage the minister. You can always tell how a church is getting on by the prayer-meetings. I will almost prophesy the kind of sermon on the Sabbath from the sort of prayer-meeting on the Monday. If many come up to the house of God, and they are earnest, the pastor will get a blessing from on high; it cannot but be, for God opens the windows of heaven to believing prayer. Never fail to plead for your pastor in your closet. Dear friends, when you mention a father’s name, and a child’s name, let the minister’s name come forth too. Give him a large share in your heart, and both in private and public prayer, encourage him. Encourage him, again, by letting him know if you have received any good.
For meditation: The apostle Paul was greatly encouraged by people who stood by him, like Onesiphorus and Luke (2 Timothy 1:16–17; 4:11). Are you faithful to your minister or do you leave him in the lurch, as Demas and others did to Paul (2 Timothy 4:10,16)?
N.B. This sermon was preached at Cornwall Road Chapel, Bayswater, to the congregation pastored by Spurgeon’s brother, James, since the opening of the chapel on 1 July 1863. For sermons assumed to have been preached for the first and third anniversaries, see readings on 3 and 1 July respectively.
Sermon no. 537 17 October (Preached 18 October 1863)