Pastoral Periphery?

Martyn Lloyd-Jones held preaching to be the highest calling.  Many pastors and church leaders consider it the central calling in their ever increasing list of tasks.  In reality preaching is only ever one part of a bigger package.  There may also be counsellor, crisis-management, events organizer, team coordinator, small group leader, tension diffuser, visionary leader, committee chair, leadership liaison, building project coordinator, public relations officer, and on it goes.

I’m not affirming or even condoning how much some church leaders have on their plate, but I do recognize it.  Monday morning may be a good time to reflect on the non-preaching aspects of the ministry coming up in the days and weeks ahead.  For those with a passion to preach there may be a tendency to neglect other aspects of our ministry and move from yesterday’s message(s) to next Sunday’s.  Perhaps our preaching could be strengthened by prayerful consideration of the other aspects of church life (not just the task lists, but especially the people involved).  Take some time to pray for others in the church and pray through what you know to be their concerns and priorities as they look at the ministry of the church.

As well as taking a break from preaching preparation, this will give greater sensitivity to the priorities God has given to others.  The benefits of the rest and the awareness, will also help your preaching too, so in a sense you’re still pursuing your “high calling!”

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