Many years ago Richard Baxter accepted a call to a church in England in a town where few knew and loved the Lord. He preached faithfully and powerfully but he did more than that. He dealt individually with every member of the community. He made disciples among the people of the community. Two full days a week he started at one end of the village and went to every house speaking to every member of every house and asking in-depth questions about what they believed. With the help of an assistant he visited all 800 families in his parish every year. During his nineteen-year ministry the town was completely transformed.
His secret was systematically dealing with each soul in the community. There were two thousand adult inhabitants in Kidderminster, most of them were converted under Baxter’s ministry. Fifty years after his death visitors to the town reported that the town still gave evidence of his ministry. They say that during his ministry you could walk down the streets of the town and all up and down every street you could hear families at worship together.
Baxter pled passionately with people for their souls. He is the pastor who said: “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”
It’s Pastor Appreciation Month. May God bless every neighborhood, every village, every city in America with true pastors.