I had the privilege of listening to a paper Dr Joel Beeke gave at an Evangelical Theological Society meeting a few years back. It was on spiritual disciplines. I sat on the floor of a packed little room. It was soon obvious why the room was packed. The entire time I was confronted with my laziness when it comes to the disciplines of prayer, fasting, etc. However, I was even more confronted with the fact that Dr Beeke was a man running hard after God, and I was a pompous little theologue. I thought I knew some good theological terms. Dr Beeke didn’t wow the audience with multi-syllabic words. Instead, his vigor and desire to see God’s people be serious about preparing for eternity and emanating the re-created life by the Spirit.
Having just graduated from seminary, I found these three points to young ministers especially helpful and uniquely practical.
1. Become and stay well versed in the Scriptures, in confessional Reformed theology, and in the great classics of Reformed, experiential theology.
2. Summarize the errors of various movements succinctly from the pulpit when the scriptural text you are expounding pertains to them. Enlarge upon your exposure of error, perhaps, in catechism classes (because young people are the church’s future) or weekday classes (because those who attend have, in general, greater appreciation for apologetics than does your average Sabbath attendee and because your teaching situation is less formal).
3. Remember that you cannot study every false movement in depth, nor should you. Study in depth for yourself those that directly affect your congregation. Otherwise, read the best book from an evangelical perspective that refutes a particular error. In some cases, reading one good article may suffice.
Younger ministers should beware of being so caught up with the trends, debates, and crises of the present that they neglect to reinforce their knowledge of Christian history and Christian doctrine.