Pastors have a great influence in the lives of their flock–they are supposed to. As under-shepherds to Christ, we are to help direct and encourage the sheep to follow Jesus in the daily life. However, there is a dangerous trend we see in America among men in leadership. It seems very few spend quality time with Christ in prayer.
Many have detailed messages with elaborate outlines and cute points. However, a trained heart realizes that most information comes from books and sermon outlines they have quickly glanced over from ministry helps, and not from time on their face seeking the heart and mind of God. We have dead preachers preaching dead sermons to dead congregations.
Many Pastors have been hired as CEOs of a corporately run religious club. Stop it!! We are not executives, we are messengers. We are not a ‘Mr. do it all for every I need it done’ type of job. “No,” is the most important answer we can learn. It is the only word which will stop the life-sucking, time consuming, prayer robbing practice most pastors have been forced into.
Let us return to our biblical call–our New Testament place. We are called to continuously spend time in ‘ministry of the Word and prayer.’ (Acts. 6:4) And when we do, our passion will be aflame with God’s presence, not the strength of the flesh. Our words will be guided by the hand of God, not out of frustration. Our unpacking of God’s Word will be out of responsibility of study, not out of a sermon outline by a mass market publication. Our messages will have the Spirit’s anointing, not our voice inflection trying to substitute for it.
In short, those who hear us will know…we have been with Jesus! (Acts. 4:13) And that alone makes what we have to say important.