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 II Of Diligence in the Ministry
1) Do I “give attendance to reading,” meditation and study? Do I read a due portion of Scripture daily, especially in the New Testament, and that in the Greek original, that I may be better acquainted with the meaning of the Word of God? (1 Timothy 4:13).
2) Do I apply myself to these things, and give myself wholly to them, that my progress may appear to all? (1 Timothy 4:15).
3) Do I live, constantly, as under the eye of the great Shepherd, who is my master and my final judge; and so spend my hours as to be able to give up a good account of them at last to him?
4) Do I not “neglect to fan into flame the gifts I have, which God has given me, for the edification of the church?” (1 Timothy 4:14). and (2 Timothy 1:6).
5) Do I seek, as far as possible, to know the strengths and weaknesses of my speaking, that I “may speak a word in season?” (Isaiah 50:4).
6) Is it my chief design, in choosing my subject, and composing my sermon, to edify the souls of men?
7) Am I determined to take all proper opportunities to preach the word in season and out of season, that is, in the coffee shop or the home, or the workplace, as well as in the pulpit; and seek opportunities to speak a word for Christ, and help forward the salvation of souls? (2 Timothy 4:2).
8) Do I labor to show my love to our Lord Jesus, by “feeding the sheep and tending to the lambs of His flock?” (John 21:16-17).
9) Am I diligently laboring for the success of my ministry? and do I take all possible strategies to inquire what effects my ministry has had on the souls of those who hear me?
10) Where I find or hope the work of grace is begun on the soul, am I zealous and diligent to promote it?