What should a pastor devote his time to in his gospel ministry? John Owen here teaches us, in the clearest fashion, what the answer to this question is. It is really very simple–too bad that so many miss the point completely!
The first great duty of the ministry, with reference unto the church, is the dispensation of the doctrine of the gospel unto it, for its edification.As this is the duty of the church continually to attend unto, Acts 2:42, so it is the principal work of the ministry, the foundation of all other duties, which the apostles themselves gave themselves unto in an especial manner, chap. 6:4. Hence is it given in charge unto all ministers of the gospel, Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2; 1 Timothy 1:3, 4:13,16, 5:17; 2 Timothy 4:1-3; – for this is the principal means appointed by Christ for the edification of his church, that whereby spiritual life is begotten and preserved. Where this work is neglected or carelessly attended unto, there the whole work of the ministry is despised. John Owen “A Discourse of Spiritual Gifts” Vol. 4:508-09