I’m a pastor, I cherish Christ’s Church. I’m also a preacher, I speak God’s words.
From my observations many preachers spend so much of their time preparing their presentations while they pastor poorly. Some would call them “pulpit-teers”. I feel the allure of such a role. Spend all your time preparing a message so that the presentation encourages people to follow you. But, as much of a joy it is to speak a powerful sermon that people are able to receive, this kind of church lifestyle is dysfunctional.
I believe that the preacher is called to be a healthy PART of the body. I believe that one of the troubles with the Western church is that the pastors have been systematically held to corporate leadership standards. This is a substitution of servant leadership, the kind Christ revealed for us. These two ways of leading are in direct contradiction of one another. One is a structure where one man leads, corrects, hires, fires, places demands, and leads by exemplifying his strength. He has a group that functions under him that handle the lower cast of people that he may or may never have to talk to. It’s the corporate pyramid. Ever seen or felt any of that in the church?
There are many problems with this kind of corporate pyramid working inside the church. When in action, it puts undue power in the hands of the leader where they are given the opportunity to use it for their gain. It places a pressure to perform on the leader that is difficult to bare. Moreover, it allows for there to be dysfunction in the other parts of the body that God has called to be just as important.
So on Sunday mornings instead of a gathering of the saints , we have a show to see. Instead of building each other up, we mandate Christian entertainment. Instead of a coming together to bring the gifts God has given us, we come together deformed and dysfunctional. The preacher preaches, we go home, and the world dies.
When will we see our error? How can we back out of this kind of order? I’m not sure about others, but my heart is longing for a group of disciples who are renewed in a way that they begin to function in a healthy way within the body. They know God’s voice for themselves, they submit themselves to one another out of charity, they encourage one another, try not to backbite, and the pastor is in his rightful position… the bottom…. weeping over the feet he is washing.
(Recognizing my failures and my participation in it, I repent. That is where we start.)