By Steve Weaver
A few days ago, Brian Croft posted an article with ten lessons that he learned during a recent sabbatical from studying Andrew Fuller. He writes about his experience:
One of my goals for my sabbatical last year was to study the life and ministry of the 18th century English particular Baptist Pastor, Andrew Fuller. Now that my time away has ended and feels so long ago, I thought I would still share about my findings. After a few books read, portions of the 3 volume works read, and a very meaningful breakfast with Michael Haykin and Jeremy Walker (friends and Fuller experts) discussing Fuller, the blessing of studying this faithful man of God exceeded my expectations.
I was so blessed and learned so much that it would be unwise to try and share all the ways I was impacted. However, as a steward and discipline to my time of study, I have summarized ten lessons that I learned from Andrew Fuller’s life that will impact my pastoral ministry from this moment on. Because of this, I thought I would share them with you with the hopes you will be challenged in the same way I was and as a result, might be moved to dig deeper into this man’s life.
Croft gave the following lessons for modern pastors from Fuller in no particular order:
- Affirm a needed process to affirm pastors for pastoral ministry.
- Maintain the essential call for clear, faithful, and unwavering precision on the atonement.
- See the value of close, transparent, and life-long pastoral friendships.
- Embrace the opportunity for pastoral networks and associations.
- Keep the value of formal theological education in its proper perspective.
- Be steadfast in the primary focus between seekers/saints in the public gathering.
- Trust God’s unique purposes in the suffering of pastors.
- See the value of pastoral leadership outside a pastor’s individual local church.
- Be cautious to carefully balance family and ministry.
- Be wise to delegate responsibility.
Pastor Croft elaborates on each of these lessons in his original article. He also provides a list of resources that were helpful to him during his study of Fuller. Croft's study of Fuller was clearly edifying for his spiritual life and ministry. I commend a similar study by other pastors for your own enrichment and encouragement.
Steve Weaver serves as a research assistant to the director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and a fellow of the Center. He also serves as senior pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY. Steve and his wife Gretta have six children between the ages of 3 and 15. You can read more from Steve at his personal website: Thoughts of a Pastor-Historian.