Last week I introduced the Preaching Triangle. Every participant matters. Every relationship matters. I’d like to develop the three relationships, starting with God and the Preacher. Five inherent dangers, but what potential!
1. There is a danger that the preacher’s gaze will be on the Bible rather than God, that is…
2. There is a danger that the preacher’s focus will be on finding a message, rather than hearing God’s heart in the Bible.
3. There is a danger that the preacher’s strength might come from somewhere other than this relationship, which means the ministry will drain personal resources and lead toward burnout.
4. There is a danger that the ministry will reflect a personal agenda rather than God’s values.
5. There is a danger that the ministry will pursue a personal goal, rather than seeking God’s.
But what potential!
First, to be cared for and ministered to by God Himself. Martha needed to learn what Mary demonstrated – the privilege of sitting at the feet of our loving Lord that He might minister to us first, so that we might then minister to others. We cannot love God by loving others with any lasting consistency. Loving God by listening to Him must come first. Enjoying the privilege of the intimate relationship that the Bible describes in the most intimate of terms: a friend of God, a brother of Christ, a child of Abba, the temple of the Spirit, the body, the bride, I could go on.
Second, to join with God in a community of carers looking outward to others. “As the Father sent me, so I send you. . . Do you love me? Then feed my sheep, tend my lambs.” What a privilege it is, in the midst of the tensions and challenges of church ministry, to remember that we are privileged to participate in God’s work of soul-care. Apart from Him we can do nothing, yet we are invited to join in, to serve and give together with a serving giving God!