We Need Repeated Prodding

I believe we need repeated prodding on this issue.  It’s a critical issue in ministry and church health.  I believe it is the heart of biblical ministry.  Here’s a prod from Explosive Preaching, 145:

There is no greater tragedy for preaching today than the senior pastor who claims to be too busy to mentor preachers.

I say, amen.  This line comes at the end of a paragraph describing the mentoring of Martin Luther-King Jr by J. Pius Barbour.  He would spend time every Saturday with a group of younger preachers who would practice their sermons in front of him and the group.  Then on Sunday, after he had preached, he would ask them to analyze his sermon under the headings of content, delivery and audience reaction.  Talk about accountability as well as mentoring!

It takes effort, time and sometimes even sacrifice.  Yet mentoring is multiplicative ministry, it is exponential ministry, it is biblical ministry.

2 thoughts on “We Need Repeated Prodding

  1. Thanks for this post. I really appreciate the idea of mentoring younger preachers – since I am still one of those Timothys who need it.

    But my question is: Should it be analyzing sermons all the time? I myself tend to analyze a lot of sermons instead of letting them speak to my heart. The danger is too great to restrict my listening to the preaching style and not to the gospel that is proclaimed!

    I would suggest to do this SOMEtimes, but in every(sun)day-life the preaching pastor should just model preaching & maybe explain afterwards, why he did it this way or another!

    So, How can it be balanced?

  2. I totally agree Simon. It is possible to excess in analysis and fail to address other issues of relational mentoring, not to mention just being a good listener to God’s Word. I suspect that the issue for most people is not how to balance these things, but how to start doing anything in this regard.

    I really like the idea of interaction after preaching. I heard of a church where they always have a post meeting session for 15 minutes of discussion with the preacher. Clarification or explanation of decisions made in exegesis, etc. I think this is superb and would love to be a part of that.

    But as far as mentoring is concerned, I say get stuck in life-on-life in some way and then allow the balancing issues to be determined.

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