Tuesday is for Preaching
Most pastors, I could have been more kind and less opinionated if I said “many pastors”, but I’m going to stand on the first two words of this sentence, most pastors don’t have a good idea of who they are preaching to on a week by week basis. They don’t know the condition of their flocks (Proverbs 27:23), they don’t know the condition of the culture within which they live (1 Chronicles 12:32), and they spend too much time trying to design “wow” moments in their messages and not enough time in prayer and meditation over the text of their message.
I was thinking of these things when I came across an article in USA titled, “For Many, ‘Losing My Religion’ is More than a Song: Its Life“. Here’s the opening paragraphs of the article by Tim Loehrke for USA Today:
When Bill Dohm turns his eyes toward heaven, he’s just checking the weather …
Sunday mornings, when Bill Dohm turns his eyes toward heaven, he’s just checking the weather so he can fly his 1946 Aeronca Champ two-seater plane.
Helton, 28, and Dohm, 54, aren’t atheists, either. They simply shrug off God, religion, heaven or the ever-trendy search-for-meaning and/or purpose.
Their attitude could be summed up as “So what?”
“The real dirty little secret of religiosity in America is that there are so many people for whom spiritual interest, thinking about ultimate questions, is minimal,” says Mark Silk, professor of religion and public life at Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.
As Christmas Day glides by — all gilt, no substance — for many, clergy and religion experts are dismayed. They fear for souls’ salvation and for the common threads of faith snapping in society. Others see no such dire consequences to a more openly secular America as people not only fess up to being faithless but admit they’re skipping out on spiritual, the cool default word of the decade, as well.
Did you feel the truth of that phrase in the last paragraph? “Common threads of faith snapping in society.” If you have the responsibility of bringing the word of life to a flock, large or small, wrestle with this. This is the reality of what is happening inside and outside the church. Remember this as you pray over a message. Remember this as you wrestle with the meaning of the text. Remember this when you brood over the text in the hopes of becoming an authentic preacher who stands before the people of God as one who both believes and practices the truth.
And as you do, pray for your brothers in arms. We need to lift one another up to the throne of grace for the incredible privilege and opportunity to open up the bread of life to men and women who have the mission of taking the message to the Kingdom to the world. Why don’t you stop right now and pray for preachers of the word around the world.