“It is not every preacher we would care to talk with; but there are some whom one would give a fortune to converse with for an hour.
I love a minister whose face invites me to make him my friend– a man upon whose doorstep you read, ‘Salve,’ ‘Welcome;’ and feel that there is no need of that Pompeian warning, ‘Cave Canem,’ “Beware of the dog.”
Give me the man around whom the children come, like flies around a honey-pot: they are first-class judges of a good man. You will find that children have their instincts, and discover very speedily who is their friend, and depend upon it the children’s friend is one who will be worth knowing.
Have a good word to say to each and every member of the family– the big boys, and the young ladies, and the little girls, and everybody.
No one knows what a smile and a hearty sentence may do. A man who is to do much with men must love them, and feel at home with them.
An individual who has no geniality about him had better be an undertaker, and bury the dead, for he will never succeed in influencing the living.
A man must have a great heart if he would have a great congregation. His heart should be as capacious as those noble harbours along our coast, which contain sea-room for a fleet.
When a man has a large, loving heart, men go to him as ships to a haven, and feel at peace when they have anchored under the lee of his friendship. Such a man is hearty in private as well as in public; his blood is not cold and fishy, but he is warm as your own fireside.
No pride and selfishness chill you when you approach him; he has his doors all open to receive you, and you are at home with him at once. Such men I would persuade you to be, every one of you.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students: A Selection from Addresses Delivered to the Students of the Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1875/2008), 196-197.