A week ago, we had a deacon ordination service at our church for a dear friend and man of God who recently joined our deacon ministry team. During my sermon on 1 Thessalonians 2:5-11, I read a quote by Scottish minister Robert Murray M'Cheyne. It comes from a letter M'Cheyne wrote to a young missionary in 1840, and is one of my very favorite quotes. It applies not only to leaders, but to all who call themselves followers of Christ.
My dear friend, I trust you will have a pleasant and profitable time in Germany. I know you will apply hard to German; but do not forget the culture of the inner man – I mean of the heart. How diligently the cavalry officer keeps his saber clean and sharp; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. Remember you are God’s sword – His instrument – I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God. (quoted in Wiersbe, On Being a Servant of God, p. 39)