Mark Galli on why we need to be praying for our pastors:
What makes the pastor’s job even more spiritually vulnerable is the expectation that he also be the cathartic head of the church—someone with whom members can identify and live through vicariously. Someone who articulates their fears and hopes, someone to whom they can relate—at a distance. This is key, because the pastor has time to relate to very, very few members. Thus it is all the more important that he be able to communicate in public settings the personable, humble, vulnerable, and likable human being he is.
Thus, preaching in the modern church has devolved into the pastor telling stories from his own life. The sermon is still grounded in some biblical text, and there is an attempt to articulate what that text means today. But more and more, pastors begin their sermons and illustrate their points repeatedly from their own lives. Next time you listen to your pastor, count the number of illustrations that come from his life, and you’ll see what I mean. The idea is to show how this biblical truth meets daily life, and that the pastor has a daily life. All well and good. But when personal illustrations become as ubiquitous as they have, and when they are crafted with pathos and humor as they so often are, they naturally become the emotional cornerstone of the sermon. The pastor’s life, and not the biblical teaching, is what becomes memorable week after week.
Again, this is not because the pastor is egotistical. It’s because, again, we demand this of our preachers…
Also Worth Reading
Ministry: 10 Simple Things Good Pastors Say
Mentors: My guest post at Trevin Wax’s blog, “The Gift of Dead Mentors.”
Theology: Justin Holcomb examines the Athanasian Creed.
Preaching: Mark Altrogge on the best sermon you’ll ever preach.
In Case You Missed It
Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:
The Line-Up: What you all told me you want me to write about.
Eleven Months: Reflections on what God’s been teaching us through the eleven month process of preparing and selling our house.
Andrew Murray: Let Redemption Be The Crown Of Your Christian Life