This weekend I am attending the Capital Forum on Spiritual Formation and Discipleship held at the Fairfax Church of Christ.
In the meantime, I plan on writing a series of blog posts next week under the title of “How Shall We Preach?” In five blog posts, I plant to discuss five values I try to uphold in my preaching. These five values are to preach truthfully, graciously, wisely, thoughtfully, and redemptively. I will expound on these values in each blog post.
I’ve been thinking about this the last few days after hearing someone else make a comment about preaching, specifically preaching in a church where the preacher receives a salary. The comment more or less was that this person would not want to be a “paid preacher” for a church because salary would likely dictate what they preach on.
I’m not so sure about that. I can’t speak for every preacher but I don’t get the sense that the preachers I know and admire (including my peers linked to on this blog) have been bought off in such a way. I can say for myself that in nearly twelve years of preaching in churches, I have never felt the pressure to let money dictate what I preach (and that included preaching one sermon on the sin of racism that resulted in me being more or less told to leave). I think this partly attributable to the fact that I decided long ago that I was a disciple of Jesus above anything else, including being a preacher. I also was taught early on at Harding University to preach and minister out of my convictions about God and scripture.
I won’t say that money will never have any influence on preachers. I’m sure it happens. But my instinct tells me that if a Christian called by God to preach can be persuaded to curtail their message in order to safeguard a salary then they will allow other factors (i.e., peer acceptance, stability, etc…) to dictate their preaching too even if money is not a factor.
Any ways. the result of hear this notion has been some helpful self-reflection on preaching. As I thought about this, I kept coming back to these values I have when it comes to preaching (both development and delivery). Whether you serve a church as a “preacher” or not, I hope this might be beneficial to you in your own life as you read and share the word of God with others.