Ron T. has an excellent article that deserves a close reading, “Dismissing the preacher for a change in direction.”
What Ron describes is a symptom of a larger problem, it would seem, of treating preachers (and preachers considering themselves) as employees.
You hear and read it all the time, that a man is a “preacher for” such-and-such congregation. Language betrays. Profound restoration is needed on this point.
In the 2017 FHU Lectureship book, a contributor wrote about “lay” preachers. Editors let that go.
What is the opposite of laymen? Clergy.
“WHO’S GONNA FILL THEIR SHOES?”
In 1985, country music legend George Jones (1931-2013) released a great country song titled “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” In it the writers, Troy Seals and Max D. Barnes, pay tribute to some of the giants of country music. The song begins: “You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing.” Hauntingly, it proceeds to talk about the Outlaw who walks through Jesse’s dreams, the Red-Headed Stranger, the Man in Black, the Okie from Muskogee, “Hello Darling,” the Boys from Memphis, Blue Suede Shoes, Elvis, Jerry Lee, Charlie, Marty, old Hank, and Lefty. All aficionados of true country music know who these names and descriptive terms refer to. Continue reading
FOY E. WALLACE, JR.
From time to time, I have written about some of the ordinary, everyday Christians I have known through the years who have made a deep impression on me by their exemplary lives. I will continue to write about such people at intervals. At the same time, I also want to write about some very extra-ordinary people I have known (primarily great preachers of the gospel) and why I consider them to be great. Continue reading
In my years of endeavoring to preach the gospel of Christ, I have had the privilege of knowing and associating with the finest people on earth. Among these is a whole host of faithful gospel preachers, some well known in the brotherhood of Christ, others not so well known, but all of them men of tremendous dedication and commitment to the cause of Christ. This week, in keeping with my intention to write from time to time about ordinary, everyday people I have known and loved, I want to tell you about a simple, down-to-earth gospel preacher by the name of Charles P. Smith, Sr., but known simply as Charlie Smith. Continue reading
Jesus was not only a preacher of illustrations, he was an illustrative preacher.
Jesus didn’t fall into the “do as I say and not as I do” category. Besides the personal claims that he made about himself, this “follow what I’m doing and what I’m teaching” mentality was the main distinction between his ministry and the ministry of the majority of his contemporary Jewish leaders. Jesus’ adversaries couldn’t convict this rabbi of sin in word or in deed. He even challenged them to do so, and then made a preaching point out of it! (John 8:46)
This element of Jesus is not only what separated him from the preachers of yesterday, it’s an element that still does so. After all, it’s easier to give illustrations in a sermon than it is to be an illustrative sermon isn’t it? Telling stories are one thing, but giving someone something to talk about in a good way is a different thing all-together. And yet a living illustration is what we’re called to be (Matthew 5:14-16).
Remembering that Jesus was an illustrative preacher is why I follow him; it’s why I try to not get too stuck on me. I try to be a good example but I know who the example is.
Jesus’ illustrations still teach basic principles to his listeners to this day (think the good Samaritan, the blind following the blind, the prodigal son, and many more than what this space allows), but these illustrations have the effect that they do because he didn’t only teach with illustration – he taught by illustration.
“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,” Acts 1:1
Dale Jenkins just sent this request:
Hey brother – We’re doing a pretty big survey. Could you help us get the word out by sending something out on this
Minister/Writer, Spring Meadows Church of Christ
m:dale | w:www.TheJenkinsInstitute.com | a:1003 Achiever Circle Spring Hill, TN 37174
Here’s my article from yesterday’s bulletin. I thought some of you preachers might appreciate it:
Personal Insights from the Preacher
One of the hardest things about the preacher’s “job” is the personal side of it. It’s a job where we have to personally get personal without getting personal. We are expected to meet the expectations that say we are to get personally involved in the lives of people while still meeting the expectations of avoiding the personal areas where we’re not wanted. We are expected to preach sermons that have practical and personal applications yet we are expected to not personally step on any toes. On top of those personal problems, we have our own personal problems to deal with…and you’d know that if you personally knew any preachers! It’s not my job to know the details about your life, but your life is in the details of my job. And I do my best to avoiding preaching about certain topics when I know that a person knows that I know about them personally, but everyone else doesn’t personally know this. My point in saying all of this is not to rant; not even close! My point is to remind you that sermons that sound personal are not always personally directed toward you. So I’d love to get to know you personally, but remember that means I’ll have to get personal if I do.
P.S. This isn’t personally directed at anyone 🙂
Sound like a personal sentiment to anyone else?