In preaching through the Gospel of John, I came across the following comments by J.C. Ryle. He is applying the aspect of God sending John the Baptist to ministers being sent by God as well. If a majority of the ministers would take their calling as serious as John the Baptist, the church would be far better off. Not that many do not take their calling seriously, but they do not take the Word of God seriously.
“Christian ministers are not priests, nor mediators between God and man. They are not agents into whose hands men may commit their souls, and carry on their religion by deputy. They are witnesses. They are intended to bear testimony to God’s truth, and specially to the great truth that Christ is the only Savior and light of the world… Unless a Christian minister bears a full testimony of Christ, he is not faithful to his office. So long as he does testify of Christ, he has done his part, and will receive his reward, although his hearers may not believe his testimony. Until a minister’s hearers believe on that Christ of whom they are told, they receive no benefit from the ministry. They may be pleased and interested; but they are not profited until they believe. The great end of a minister’s testimony is ‘that through him, men may believe.’”
 J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2007, Vol. 1, p. 14.