Pointers from a Westminster Pastor

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

I've been reading the biography of Martin Lloyd-Jones, who died in 1981 after forty years of ministry at Westminster Chapel in London. He was born in 1899, became a successful medical doctor, and then was called to the pastoral ministry in 1927.

He left the prestige of his position as Chief Clinical Assistant to Sir Thomas Horder, the King's Physician, and took a struggling mission church in Aberavon, South Wales. But (like a true Christian Hedonist) he said, “I gave up nothing. I received everything. I count it the highest honour that God can confer on any man to call him to be a herald of the gospel.”

The Lord turned the place upside down with Lloyd-Jones' powerful expository preaching. The prayer meeting could not be contained within two hours, so many were ready to pray. Women spoke over their shopping of how their husbands now preferred the prayer meeting to the cinema.

What sort of a man was he? His daughter tells of one of her early memories of herself in a bathing suit, playing on the beach, while her father sat, fully clothed in a dark grey suit, complete with shoes and hat, leaning against a rock reading Brunner's Divine Imperative.

The church at Aberavon was filled, but not because Lloyd-Jones made people comfortable. His conviction was very different.

The world today is laughing at the church, laughing at her attempts to be nice and to make people feel at home. My friend, if you feel at home in any church without believing in Christ as your personal Saviour, then that church is no church at all, but a place of entertainment or a social club. For the truth of Christianity and the preaching of the gospel should make a church intolerable and uncomfortable to all except those who believe, and even they should go away feeling chastened and humble.

And so may the Lord fill Bethlehem! Not because there is entertainment here. God forbid! But because we are in blood earnest about the cause of God and truth.

There is room now in every morning service for you to invite your friends to come, and to go hard after God with us—or to come see how we do it. God has wonderfully spread you over three services. (For example, last week there were 308 in the first service, 307 in the second, and 306 in the third—amazing!!!).

Earnestly with you for him,

Pastor John