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It Takes a Steady Hand to Hold a Full Cup

A group of young pastors have asked that I meet with them monthly for lunch to answer questions and provide help. At our last meeting I gave them the pop-quiz below. I recommend that you read it. If you are a pastor you may be helped by examining your answers. If you are not a pastor you might recommend it to your pastor.
Charles Carrin

1. As a pastor are you listening to, benefiting from—or ignoring your critics?

2. Are you emotionally-secure enough to realize that your critics are sometimes right?

3. Do you know the most frequent or significant criticism made of you?

4. Do you regard your opponents as being “unspiritual” and unworthy of consideration?

5. Do you justify the departure of members from your congregation as simply being “God’s ‘pruning'” and/or their refusal to accept your “new wine skin”?

6. Did you learn from wrong choices you made in the past?

7. Do you ever listen to—print copies of your own sermons—critique them, and hear your preaching as others hear it? Do you study the content and eliminate superfluous talk?

8. If you were asked to preach a 3-point, quality sermon in 15 minutes could you do it?

9. Are you prepared to preach “in season, out of season”?

10. Do you blame your lack of preparation, indecisiveness, or procrastination, on your supposedly allowing “freedom” for the Holy Spirit?

11. Are you willing to preach more sermons to more people by being considerate of their time or do you insist on longer sermons and fewer people?

12. What percent of your congregation arrives late to avoid the length of the service? Have you ever considered that possibility?

13. As a pastor, do you pray as ardently about your administrative responsibilities as you do your preaching responsibilities?

14. Do members see such consistent growth in your preaching, your administration, that they are eager to hear your next message and be part of your next action?

15. Do visitors observe such maturity and reliability in your whole church-experience that they want to transfer its pattern into their home and personal life?

16. Do visitors eagerly return to your service or are most one-timers only?

17. If you were a first-time visitor in your own congregation what would be your honest opinion?

18. Are you providing your congregation with the example of a loving, disciplined, well-structured life?

19. Apart from your preaching-ministry, does the congregation witness the power of the Holy Spirit in you privately? Are you a “carrier” of the anointing?

20. Have you ever canvassed your congregation to ask for their honest opinions about improving the Church’s total ministry? If not, why not?

21. Is there consistent, viable presence of the Holy Spirit displayed through your laying on-hands and personal ministry?

22. When laying-hands on people do you push them down? If so, Do you possibly mistake your emotion and pumped-up zeal with the genuine activity of the Holy Spirit?

23. Are your prayers so long that people quit participating?

24. Theologically, are you a Kingdom-man or a Church-man?

25. Theologically, are you a “closed door” or do you listen to new, godly ideas?

26. Do you give opportunity for prophetic messages, tongues, interpretation, signs, wonders, etc, in every worship service?

27. Do you do all the talking, praying, announcement making, letting the congregation hear your voice alone? Are you a “one-man” show?

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About the Author: Charles Carrin, D.D., has served the body of Christ for over 65 years. Educated at University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, he denied, in belief and practice, the contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit until a personal crisis opened his eyes to what he had been missing. He is the author of Spirit-Empowered Theology (Chosen, 2017), The Edge Of Glory: Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit (Creation House, 2002), Sunrise of David Sunset of Saul: A Message to the Church in the End-time (1985, 2014), On Whose Authority?: The Removal of Unwanted Scriptures (Burkhart Books, 2014), a revival novel with Dorothy Easley: Island in the Sun (Xulon, 2010), and a contributor to Word Spirit Power: What Happens When You Seek All God Has to Offer (Chosen, 2012) with R.T. Kendall and Jack Taylor. Today his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. Read his biography at

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