The Preacher


I’m going to share a story with you and then you have to guess what the point of the story is.

The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, ‘If he gets loose, will he hurt us?’

What’s the point of the story?

The point of the story is, ‘not only are people listening to preachers but they are watching them too.’

How do you think Christians judge preachers?

What do you think non-Christians think about preachers?

Most Christians will judge a preacher by listening to one of their sermons, sometimes they are judged by the way we dress. Some people see them as godly men, good men, and trusting. Some see them as the perfect example of a Christian and they have all the answers to all the questions. It is possible that the opposite also applies.

Do you think it bothers the preacher what others think about them?

Is it important that he cares what others think? If so, yes, why? If not, why?

How can preachers help other people understand what they are really like?

It would be helpful if preachers were truthful with others and to themselves. It would be useful if they admit they make mistakes and are sinners, they do sin and they are still striving towards Christ-likeness.

Let me share with you another story and then you have to guess what the point of the story is.

‘There was an old man who uses to be a preacher and his wife and to help them get around and to do their shopping, they purchased a 4-wheel drive, battery-operated car. So, one day they set of from their home in Loughborough, the old man was driving the car, and his wife was walking along beside him, but she was struggling to keep up.

Anyway, they made it to Ilkeston, when some people came up to them and said to the old preacher man, ‘you should be ashamed of yourself! Imagine letting an old woman walk in her condition whilst you sit there comfortably in your car.’ So, the old man got out of the car, and then his wife got in and began to drive the car, and so the old man started to walk along beside his wife, but he was struggling to keep up.

They made it to Nottingham, when some people came up to them and said to the old preacher’s wife, ‘you should be ashamed of yourself! Imagine letting an old man walk in his condition whilst you sit there comfortably in your car.’

So, the old man’s wife got out of the car, and immediately the old man and his wife, lifted the car and carried it to the shops, they were last seen headed for Birmingham town centre.

Whose got the point of the story?

The point of the story is, ‘preachers and their wives, will never please people.’

What kind of work do you think preachers are involved in?

Many are involved in preaching, teaching, visiting, counsellor and organising.

What do your congregations expect from a preacher?

Why is this?

What can you do to help the preacher?

I think we need to remember that it was God who gave preachers these positions in the first place, but He gave them these jobs for a reason.

‘It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.’ Ephesians 4:11-12

Notice it doesn’t say that preachers or evangelists are ‘to prepare themselves for works of service’, although that would apply, it says, preachers or evangelists ‘are to prepare God’s people for works of service.’

They are builders, doing the preparation work for God’s people so that they can then go on to do works of service for God themselves. And so, they are building people up, but at the same time people will learn what talents they do have and then the preacher should go on to encourage others to develop those talents. People need to understand that they don’t have to have the gift of preaching and teaching to get involved with the church.

We need to teach our members what Jesus taught that there’s basically two commandments. Because I think Jesus would say to many of our people today, ‘you’re making it way to hard people, it’s not that hard. Two things I’m looking for, love God with all you’ve got and love His children too.’

Now according to Jesus what He wants from His people is well within the reach of everyone. In Matthew 25:31-46 where Jesus teaches the parable of the sheep and the goats, I want you to notice that the sheep did what every man can do. Their labour of love didn’t require a vast amount of money, their labour of love didn’t require a lot of theological instructions.

If preachers want people to get involved more and share with the workload, then they need to teach other Christians that everything Jesus wants them to do is something every single Christian can do.

Now I’m not going to read the parable right now but the next time you read it, I want you notice that the sheep didn’t perform any big miracles. He did not say, ‘you healed the sick’, He did not say, ‘you freed the prisoners’, He did not say, ‘you’ll stop world hunger’.

He said, ‘you visited sick people, you went to a few jails, you shared your food.’ It wasn’t big miracles that they did, it was little ministries that all Christians can all do.

Preachers need to teach other Christians that they have talents but they need to develop those talents, and preachers should encourage them to use them well.

Does it really matter what people think about preachers?

Well to a certain degree I think it does, but first and foremost we should be pleasing God.

‘Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.’ 2 Timothy 2:15

I don’t believe we will ever please people, because people’s demands change all the time but God’s demands don’t change. Nowadays I think that the preacher is a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ but preachers just can’t blame that on their congregations.

They need to take some of the responsibility for that themselves because they continually give in to their congregational requests. Preachers continually give themselves up for works of service which is good but I think there needs to be times when preachers just say ‘no’.

Especially when they are a Christian husband, with children. Every preacher should continue to do their work as a preacher but they shouldn’t lose their wife and children because of it.

‘My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I had to neglect.’ Songs Of Solomon 1:6


"For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."