This site is dedicated to stimulating biblical preaching. The main hat the preacher wears is that of the biblical and relevant communicator. There are lots of angles on that main role, and they are explored post by post on this site and others. But I would like to mention some smaller hats worn in the pulpit. These are typically not your main role in preaching (although in a particular sermon they may be), but these are roles to be aware of. Areas of strategic influence for the preacher:
Materialism Underminer – Throughout the week the people in our congregation are bombarded by messages of materialism. It’s everywhere they look – billboards, TV, radio commercials, shop windows, magazine racks, etc. A constant stream of a very powerful big idea. When we preach, whatever the text and message might be, we break into that stream of information and give a few moments of spiritual reality again. Perhaps in passing comments or illustrations we even undermine the message of materialism too! (The same could be said of society and media obsessions with independence, evolution, humanism, etc.)
Family Support Officer – Many people come from, live in or have come out of broken homes. The enemy is attacking the family unit at every level. Yet for those minutes on a Sunday morning, people are allowed to look through the windows into your life. I’m not saying you should air your private laundry, or show-off your family or children (be sensitive to those who don’t have what you have). However, glimpses into a healthy home can be powerful antidotes to the stream of failure society parades before us. I still remember the illustrations given from the home life of one of my profs at seminary. Bruce Fong is now president at Michigan, but in his Multnomah days the Fong family functioned as an inspiration to single me and others.
Missions Mobilizer – We’re living in a world of desperate needs, yet none as desperate as the 9 people dying every 5 seconds, most of whom step into a lost eternity. The greatest need in world missions today is still people, followed by finance and other resources. The only source of people who could go and make a difference is the local church. That puts us as preachers in a key role. Let’s be aware of the opportunity and inspire our people to be genuine global Christians!
That’s three more hats to ponder. Any others that come to mind?
One thought on “The Smaller Hats Worn in the Pulpit”
America’s Next Top Model
The pulpit is a great place to model behavior. Not just good behavior but humility and grace recipient. We have a bunch of teens in our church. Sometimes I point right at them yelling, “kids, don’t be like I was in school!” You can rant about what a jerk you were to somebody only to realize later he was such a nice guy. I would be careful about going on about very negative behaviors. Sometimes I point to that cross exclaiming how it was “I who should have been there, not Jesus”. Sometimes when we implicate ourselves it helps us when we exhort them.