Friday, September 14, 2007


I admit it. I have a problem. The good news is that I am praying about it and I hope you will pray for me. This preacher sometimes tends to get a little too preachy.

Preachers understand the importance of being spiritually minded. It is a matter of occupational awareness. This is because people hold us to a higher standard than others. If we do not live spiritual lives, then our ministry is not effective. So to start I can assure you that doing the right thing is always on our mind.

Then there is the pulpit. Unless you take your place there two or three times a week, you don't know how it changes your life. The responsibility is great. People depend on you to help them work out their salvation. When you get to have that type of role it is often hard to leave it behind when you get down. This leaves the preacher with the preachy problem.

Occupational awareness + pulpit exposure = preachy preachers. It just happens. I can't tell you how often I have been told to "lighten up", or to "stop being a spiritual policeman." Sometimes we just need to be regular people, too. People with weaknesses. People who are patient. People who can cut the common man some slack.

I am learning that one thing people want, even more than instruction, is room. Not room for sin, but room to move. Preachers will have greater influence when they give the power back to God and His word to change lives. We cannot do it by force. In the meantime, those we strive to help need space for emotions, faults, and even doctrinal immaturity, until the time comes when they come to us to help them grow. Our preaching day will come.

We still need to preach the word in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2). But may we never forget to respect the humanity of those who hear.

"A man has joy by the answer of his mouth,
And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!" ~ Proverbs 15:23

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts Jeremiah. It is important to maintain balance in our ministry. There is an old saying, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." We need to remember this and give people, including ourselves, the "space" you mentioned.