A while back, I came across Isaac Watts “Questions for Young Ministers Frequently to Put to Themselves, Chiefly borrowed from the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.” I wanted to update the language a bit and make it a more useful document for me (making Scripture quotes from the ESV), so I’m releasing it here, section by section.
Section 1. Of Faithfulness in the Ministry
1) Do I sincerely give myself “to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4) and do I design to make it the chief business of my life to serve Christ in His Gospel, in order to the salvation of men?
2) Do I resolve, through the aids of divine grace, “to be faithful to Him who appointed me to His service,” and “to see that I fulfill the ministry I have received in the Lord?” (1 Timothy 1:12; Colossians 4:17).
3) Do I honestly and faithfully endeavor by study and prayer to know “the truth as it is in Jesus?” (Ephesians 4:21) and do I seek my instructions chiefly from the “sacred writings, which are able to make me wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus, that I may be complete, equipped for every good work?” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
4) Do “I follow the pattern of the sound words,” as far as I have learned them of Christ and his apostles? (2 Timothy 1:13). That I “may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). and do I determine to “continue in what I’ve learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom I learned it?” (2 Timothy 3:14).
5) Do I resolve to give the people the true meaning of Christ in His Word, so far as I can understand it, and “refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s Word, but by the open statement of the truth commend myself to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God?” (2 Corinthians 4:2).
6) Am I watchful to “avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’?” (1 Timothy 6:20). and do I take care to “have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies, knowing that they breed quarrels, and not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers?” (2 Timothy 2:14, 23).
7) Do I do my best to present myself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth; (2 Timothy 2:15). giving to every one, viz. to saints and sinners, their proper portion?
8) Do I make it my business to “testify both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ;” and that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved;” making this gospel of Christ the subject of my ministry? (Acts 20:21). (Acts 4:12).
9) Do I constantly affirm that “those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord?” (Titus 3:8). (Hebrews 12:14).
10) Do I teach those that hear me to “observe all that Christ has commanded us or shrink from declaring to them the whole counsel of God? (Matthew 28:20). (Acts 20:27).
11) Do I preach to the people, “not myself, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with myself as their servant for Jesus’ sake?” (2 Corinthians 4:5).
12) Do I, in my study and my preaching, “keep a close watch on my myself and on the teaching, persisting in these things, for by so doing I will save both myself and my hearers?” (1 Timothy 4:16).
13) Do I “keep watch over souls as one who will have to give an account, doing this with joy and not with groaning for the advantage of those I serve?” (Hebrews 13:17).