Brian McLaren finishes his chapter on leadership in Adventures in Missing the Point with an analogy from David and Goliath. He feels that too many ministers are trying to do ministry dressed up in Saul’s XXL armor, when in fact they are size M or even size S people. We need to do our ministry, we need to preach our sermons, as ourselves, not as some supposed spiritual superhero.
I recently wrote about preaching to ordinary people. It should go without saying that we preach as ordinary people. But perhaps the legacy of pulpit personas and Sunday morning image presentation makes it necessary to make the point. We preach as ordinary people. Perhaps size M, perhaps size S, probably not an XXL. Strangely enough, we know how the story ended with non-XXL David being himself in the task ahead of him, knowing that God was Himself in that same task.
(Incidentally, McLaren and Campolo either write the chapter or respond to the other’s writing. While not agreeing with either on every detail, I can’t help but mention how much I have resonated with Campolo’s careful critiques of McLaren’s sometimes cavalier criticisms.)