Let it never be forgotten that the chief object of a minister of the Gospel is to set forward the salvation of souls. I lay it down as a certain fact that he is no true minister who does not feel this. Talk not of a man's ordination! All may have been done correctly, and according to rule. He may wear a black coat, and be called a "reverend" man. But if the saving of souls is not the grand interest—the ruling passion—the absorbing thought of his heart—he is no true minister of the Gospel—he is a hireling, and not a shepherd. Congregations may have called him—but he is not called by the Holy Spirit. Bishops may have ordained him; but not Christ.
For what purpose do people suppose that ministers are sent forth? Is it merely to wear ecclesiastical vestments—and read the services—and preach a certain number of sermons? Is it merely to administer the sacraments, and officiate at weddings and funerals? Is it merely to get a comfortable living, and be in a respectable profession? No, indeed! we are sent forth for other ends than these. We are sent to turn people from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. We are sent to persuade people to flee from the wrath to come. We are sent to draw people from the service of the world to the service of God—to awaken the sleeping, to arouse the careless—and "by all means to save some." (1 Cor. 9:22.)
Think not that all is done when we have set up regular services, and persuaded people to attend them. Think not that all is done, when full congregations are gathered, and the Lord's table is crowded, and the parish school is filled. We want to see manifest work of the Spirit among people—an evident sense of sin—a lively faith in Christ—a decided change of heart—a distinct separation from the world—a holy walk with God. In one word, we want to see souls saved! And we are fools and impostors—blind leaders of the blind, if we rest satisfied with anything less.
J.C. Ryle, from his sermon 'few saved', which is a must read