Kevin Larson at The Resurgence wrote a very compelling piece called “Why You Should Raise Up Preachers at Your Church.” He notes that some church planters (and I would add even pastors of more established churches) fear vacating the pulpit for even a week because they are under the delusion that the church rises and falls on them.
I found this quote interesting:
Do you feel alone in the struggles of preaching? Let someone else take a stab at it. The old joke that a pastor only works on Sundays won’t garner many laughs as other men take turns wrestling with God and a text and then proclaiming the results to God’s people. Many fear that sharing the pulpit will invite further criticism of their weakness, but generally the opposite occurs. Don’t be so insecure.
While I believe a calling has something to do with fueling preachers to preach 3-4 times each week, I actually have heard this from one of my deacons. He said, “Bro. Matt, if anyone comes up to me about your preaching, I always tell them two things: (1) He’s preaching the Bible, and (2) would any of us be willing to give it a try. When you’ve walked in a pastor’s shoes, you then begin to understand His calling. So pray for him.” I was so appreciative of that—not because he defended me (I do not feel that need), but because I know his prayers have teeth because he ‘gets’ to a degree what pastors go through.
But back to the original issue. I had the pleasure of training young expositors as part of my Doctor of Ministry project at Southern. It was one of the great joys of my life and I’m ready to tackle that again—ready to pour into others regarding preaching and ministry in general. Not all of these men I trained during my DMin went into the preaching ministry. In fact, one is now a band director and another is a worship leader (the latter found out through this project that he was not called to preach—but at least he worked through it to see).
But we must not allow pride and insecurity to be used as leverage to rob others of the joy of ministry. This has been a slow turn for me, but over the last twelve months, God has released me to see that I need to do more equipping and unleashing. And it’s starting to take shape with missions, small groups, fellowships, and other areas.
What think ye?