One of the great encouragements in my ministry is knowing that many at Redeemerregularly and frequently pray for me. There are a number of ways we should be praying for our leaders in the church, but as we approach Sunday I want to encourage you to pray for your pastors and their preaching in 4 specific ways.
The fact that we esteem some people is not necessarily wrong. The Lord has gifted certain people to such an extent that we admire them for who they are and what they have contributed to the church, usually through the written word or the spoken word. There are others who may have less natural gifting or talent, but who have been consistently faithful with the remarkable opportunities they have been given and we admire these people for what they have contributed through words or through example. As we honor them, we honor God who has so gifted them. Well and good.
So where do we cross a line into some kind of celebrity culture?
Years ago, after a season of dedicated service, I sensed the beginning of the end of my employment. If I had been working in the business world, my game plan would have been quite simple: Step one, turn in my letter of resignation. Step two, leave. Ministry, however, is not that simple.
The best preaching exults in the Scriptures so that hearers will know that worship is the only proper response to who God is and what he’s done. Preachers are laboring for the joy of the hearer, after all (2 Cor. 1:24). Exultational preaching is an act of worship itself, the proclaimer faithfully expositing the Bible while enjoying it at the same time, speaking its God-breathed words as if they were delicious, reflecting on them and reacting to them as if no words were ever more impressive, staggering, powerful. Because none are.