Preaching as Position

 

Foxworthy Preacher

Photo from Randy Boyd via Levi Sisemore

Generally, I love the comedy of Jeff Foxworthy.  This time I am both laughing and crying.  I was a preacher for a long time and I know the pressures of the profession.  When the congregation is not growing/happy/interested/involved/etc., the preacher is the first one blamed and, very often, sent packing.  Maybe a new preacher will be more dynamic/younger/pretty/gregarious/educated/entertaining/etc.  Sorry, Jeff, that’s not really his job.

Most of this pressure is because we have become assembly-oriented.  “Going to church” is the expected and almost exclusive activity of the majority.  Because of this, it had better be well-orchestrated (maybe even have an orchestra).  If “going to church” is not interesting/exciting/ entertaining, then attendees will drift to a more appealing (I almost wrote, “appalling”) venue.  Consequently, all kinds of shenanigans are pulled to draw the crowds away from one congregation to another.

It never seems to cross our minds that our purpose is not to have the biggest congregation, but simply to follow Christ with the strength and wisdom that God provides.  It doesn’t seem to occur to us that assemblies are for edification and encouragement.  If we restore assemblies to their scriptural purpose, we won’t need smoke bombs, rock bands and a new preacher to keep folks coming back.

The light that we are commissioned to bring to all the world has nothing to do with electricity.  It has everything to do with letting the light of Jesus shine through our words, actions and attitudes, bringing glory to God.

Nowhere in the instructions of Jesus and the apostles is there even a hint of having preacher as a position, much less heaping upon him primary responsibility for the state of the congregation and the quality of the “worship service” (a term not found in Scripture).

With church affiliation declining across the denominational spectrum, it is high time to take a fresh look at Scripture.  Are we truly following Christ into the world or leaving him in the uncomfortable streets while we attend another comfortable “worship service” in our well-appointed “church buildings?”

May God forgive me (us) for participating so long in something so foreign to Scripture and deviant to our purpose.

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4 Comments

Filed under "Worship Services", Assemblies, Change Agent, Christlikeness, church, Church Buildings, Churches, discipleship, Edification, Encouragement, Evangelism, Jesus Christ, Kingdom Growth, Missions/Evangelism, Restoration

4 responses to “Preaching as Position

  1. Terry

    Leaving it all behind I (we) have moved forward toward the goal and doing the work that was set before us. Our days are filled with worship and praise and teaching those around us everyday of the great God we serve, We have left the “worship assemblies” that do little more than make one feel good, Ever notice how we will talk about God at the building but once we walk out the door that is the last we say to anyone about God until the next meeting time? Can God be happy with that? I ask a young man this week that i knew claimed to be a Christian and is a memebr of the church if there is a difference between a Christian and a Disciple, he could not answer the question. Jesus said go make disciples, he did not say go make Christians. A disciple is not a name but someone who wants to be just like tha master. A Christain is a follower, we have way to many followers and not near enought disciples. No I don’t look for God to be forgiving for the mess we have made of his church.

  2. Ern Smith

    I agree 100%.House churches were much more effective ( the first 300 years of the church were in fact house churches) ern…

  3. dwhitsett

    Thanks Ern…sure do miss you both! Dwight

    On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 5:16 AM, Whitticisms

  4. Preach it, Dwight! As a young person, I’m part of the demographic that “churches” like these aim their man-imagined programs, shows, lights, etc. at, but once I experienced a true moving of the Holy Spirit, I couldn’t be any less interested in their shenanigans.

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