#DearPastor, I cant take your Theatrics Anymore

Being a preacher is a noble calling. It represents the enormous responsibility of handling God’s Word (which the scriptures say is alive and active – Hebrews 4:12) and communicating it accurately to the flock.

#DearPastor, I cant take your Theatrics Anymore

 

This is no insignificant mandate, in fact, the Bible says that teachers (including preachers) will be judged more harshly than others (James 3:1). With this in mind, I have noted with much concern, a number of worrying trends that are emerging in the ranks of men and women of the cloth and mostly among members of the clergy within independent charismatic churches.

This is no insignificant mandate, in fact, the Bible says that teachers (including preachers) will be judged more harshly than others (James 3:1). With this in mind, I have noted with much concern, a number of worrying trends that are emerging in the ranks of men and women of the cloth and mostly among members of the clergy within independent charismatic churches.

Love for solicited applause
Friends, there is nothing wrong with being applauded. It’s actually an encouraging thing when one is appreciated. But when a man/woman of God desperately calls for applause in the course of their sermon, it reveals the presence of an unhealthy neediness for affirmation within their hearts. Instead of seeking heavenly applause, some pastors turn to their congregation to gratify that need. Words like, “Turn to your neighbor and do this… give a shout of praise… high five your neighbor… tell your neighbor this and that…” are quickly replacing the word of God.

I believe that at the core of such solicitation by preachers, lies a sense of doubt that the very Word they are preaching has the power to achieve desired results. Contrary to this notion, God’s Word, by itself, has the power to save and transform regardless of how eloquent or theatrical the delivery of the message is. By all means, dear preachers, accept earthly applause when it is offered voluntarily by the audience but don’t solicit for it desperately through theatrics.

Motivational speaking
Friends, motivation is a good thing, but it cannot truly transform the sinful hearts and souls of men. Such transformation is an exclusive function of God’s word. Motivation excites one’s emotions and stirs them up essentially preparing one to have the morale for a given task but as we all know, emotions are very unpredictable. Replacing God’s word with motivational speaking, therefore is totally missing the point. Please, men and women of the cloth, just preach the word of God. It has the power to change people’s destiny just as it is. This whole idea of swapping the scriptures for motivation is not sustainable. You cannot keep on scrubbing the dirty outside with motivation and ignoring the rotten inner parts which can only be cured by God’s Word. This act is similar in its futility to the washing a pig.  It will only get itself dirty again as soon as you are done washing.

Covering up the lack of content with humor
Humor has a way of shutting people’s eyes to the shallowness of a sermon. I’ve seen many preachers laugh their way into the hearts of the congregation through shallow, poorly researched doctrinally unsound sermons. Dear man of God, take your time in prayer and careful study before you stand in a pulpit and let God speak to you. God’s desire to change people’s lives is far greater than your own desire to do so. He gave His all including the life of His Son Jesus just so He could reconcile people to Himself. If He gave His Son for this purpose then surely He will not refuse to give life-transforming content to any preacher who humbly and sincerely asks for transformational content.

God will speak through any sincere preacher regardless of how they look or talk. Remember Elijah was suicidal, Moses stammered, Jesus came from Nazareth, a place famed for not producing any good thing. David was young and inexperienced, Gideon was doubtful and small from a small tribe…etc. Dear pastors, what I’m saying is this, God is willing and ready to fill your life with His Word. He can make you an effective conduit of his glory on earth as long as you are broken but when you don’t spend time with Him, you will have nothing to give and will likely be tempted to cover up the lack of content with humor or other unworthy substitutes. Woe unto you if you lack the Word and are really not that funny either.
Over exaltation of spouses

The command in the Bible is for men to love their wives as Christ loved the church and for women to submit to their husbands. Is there anything wrong with praising your wife or husband before or during the sermon? There is nothing wrong with that but when a sermon is over-seasoned with praise for the preacher’s spouse to the point that people walk away more impressed by the awesomeness of the preacher’s relationship than by the greatness of God then there is a problem. In my view, such adoration of spouses borders on idolatry. The challenge is that as a preacher over-hypes the fantastic qualities of their spouse they portray a picture of perfection which is often misleading. There are no perfect relationships. Perhaps the congregation would benefit more from knowing that pastors too argue with their wives from time to time but that they love each other enough to humble themselves, work it out and find happiness in marriage.

A lion shout out to @Shem85 for always proofreading my articles.

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