Preaching but nothing more

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ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Ok, this is not easy for me to write here because I'm worried it makes me sound bad, but here goes...

For years I've loved the idea of preaching. Yes, of course going to school for however long it took to get the education needed first, but eventually being able to preach excites me. I've always been told that I am a good speaker. From high school, to every single job I've ever had people have told me that I have a gift for public speaking. Even when i was trying to make it big in pro wrestling the "ability to talk well" is what people liked best about me. So, I thought maybe the Lord had given me a gift in this area.

So what holds me back? Here is what's going to make me look bad. I simply don't desire to be a counselor, a death bed visitor, a marriage official, a funeral speaker, or any of the like. Counseling teens is one thing, counseling adults is completely another! I don't like the idea of politics at all and am not a good navigator of people's emotions and feelings especially if we're talking about biblical things. I would not be very "sensitive".

I used to love the idea of the traveling evangelist. Is there such a thing in reformed churches? What say you all regarding these feelings I have? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what I do now, but I am so sickened by the lack of the true gospel being preached including to teens! I would so love to do something about it one day.
 

jolivetti

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Adam, Your note is refreshingly honest.

I would argue that someone who isn't passionate about the personal ministry of the word to the dying, the embittered, the disobedient, the emotional, etc., probably isn't passionate about true preaching. Preaching is the ministry of the Word - to want to preach the Word from the pulpit but not the counseling desk or the hospital chair simply doesn't add up. It ought to be the proclamation of God's Word in every situation which drives the preacher, not simply the one situation where he doesn't have to get his hands dirty with people's messy lives, right?

As far as traveling evangelists, I don't know of such a position within reformed circles I've run in - what I do know of is God expanding certain preaching ministries to include churches other than the pastor's home church.
 

matt01

Puritan Board Senior
I would argue that someone who isn't passionate about the personal ministry of the word to the dying, the embittered, the disobedient, the emotional, etc., probably isn't passionate about true preaching.

:up: Public speaking skills, while valuable, do not equal a call to the ministry, or even a hint of the possibility of being qualified to fill the pulpit. Many times I have sat through a sermon that was delivered following all the rules of public speaking, and yet lacked any focus on the Word of God.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
For years I've loved the idea of preaching. Yes, of course going to school for however long it took to get the education needed first, but eventually being able to preach excites me. I've always been told that I am a good speaker. From high school, to every single job I've ever had people have told me that I have a gift for public speaking. Even when i was trying to make it big in pro wrestling the "ability to talk well" is what people liked best about me. So, I thought maybe the Lord had given me a gift in this area.

So what holds me back? Here is what's going to make me look bad. I simply don't desire to be a counselor, a death bed visitor, a marriage official, a funeral speaker, or any of the like. Counseling teens is one thing, counseling adults is completely another! I don't like the idea of politics at all and am not a good navigator of people's emotions and feelings especially if we're talking about biblical things. I would not be very "sensitive".


*As you read this remember that I am a Baptist so I might have a slightly different paradigm than your PCA brethren.*

I 'naturally' do not love these things you mentioned either. I can't imagine that anyone 'naturally' loves these things. Only the Lord can give someone a measure of grace to desire to do these things. I agree with jolivetti that preaching is the *ministry* of the Word. Preaching is not standing in the pulpit, delivering a message, and then hoping it gets through. Preaching is making sure that it gets through as you serve them in all kinds of areas of their lives. (Read Baxter's "Reformed Pastor" for a start)

The fact that you have a burden for the Word at all might mean that somewhere down the road He will give you that measure of grace that will cause you to desire to do these things. If the burden of the Word gets overwhelming then you need to get down on your knees and pray that the Lord would give you the desire to be a servant.

BTW, the fact that you are a pro wrestler would lead me to suspect that you are a good candidate for ministry because the Lord continually chooses to use the 'foolish' things of this world to confound the wise. I know that you are not a fool, but the wisdom of the world would be confounded by an uneducated (your own words) pro wrestler speaking the truth boldly! I love it when the Lord does that!
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
I feel I need to clarify some things :)

-Weddings: Not against officiating them, but I am pretty "picky" about who I would want to join in marriage, and from my experience, that doesn't go over very well in many churches. Sure, they want you to counsel and all, but what happens when a pastor says of a members loved one "Sorry, I am not comfortable with this relationship." Does that ever happen? Counseling seems like a "formality" to me.

-Funerals: Ugh, what do you do when you've known and seen a persons vile, sinful life style yet the family says he was in Christ? I would never want to be "insensitive" but how do you handle that? I can't even imagine.

-Hospital visits- I've seen Church members get upset because a pastor visited someone who was "less sick" more often than someone who was "more sick". I've seen people leave churches because their loved one wasn't prayed for fervently enough while sick (and then they died).

It's not that I "don't care" about these things, it's just that I am not certain I have the patience to tolerate the "attitudes" of some Church members when they act in this way. Same with "budgets" and other such matters.

Youth pastor sounds GREAT to me, but how many reformed Churches have one of these? I've not seen many.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
I feel I need to clarify some things :)

-Weddings: Not against officiating them, but I am pretty "picky" about who I would want to join in marriage, and from my experience, that doesn't go over very well in many churches. Sure, they want you to counsel and all, but what happens when a pastor says of a members loved one "Sorry, I am not comfortable with this relationship." Does that ever happen? Counseling seems like a "formality" to me.
Of course it happens. And giving marital counsel has, in my experience, never been a formality to me or to those receiving the counsel. I have never felt pressure to perform a wedding that conflicted with my convictions.
-Funerals: Ugh, what do you do when you've known and seen a persons vile, sinful life style yet the family says he was in Christ? I would never want to be "insensitive" but how do you handle that? I can't even imagine.
I guess we have a different view of a minister's role in conducting a funeral. It's not the minister's business to offer an eulogy, but to preach the gospel. And what better context to preach it, than to a congregation that is usually, by and large, strangers to grace?
-Hospital visits- I've seen Church members get upset because a pastor visited someone who was "less sick" more often than someone who was "more sick". I've seen people leave churches because their loved one wasn't prayed for fervently enough while sick (and then they died).
Let me respond to this indirectly. Ministers are always going to take heat for subjective reasons, either for what they do or don't do. But if you think folk are not going to be critical of your preaching, then you're living in a never never land. :)
It's not that I "don't care" about these things, it's just that I am not certain I have the patience to tolerate the "attitudes" of some Church members when they act in this way. Same with "budgets" and other such matters.
If you don't have the patience to bear with these things, you need not expect you'll have the patience to bear with those who will be critical of your preaching.
Youth pastor sounds GREAT to me, but how many reformed Churches have one of these? I've not seen many.
There's a reason for that, but I'm not going to make it easy for you - think about it. :)

DTK
 

Pilgrim's Progeny

Puritan Board Sophomore
Having a youth pastor =(usually) irresponsible parents in my experience.

Plus, there is not biblical warrant for it, :book2: mostly against
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Having a youth pastor =(usually) irresponsible parents in my experience.

Plus, there is not biblical warrant for it, :book2: mostly against

You don't need a biblical warrant for having a youth pastor. A youth pastor is a man who is regularly licensed and ordained to the gospel ministry (he's had to jump through all the usual education and training and testing hoops). In larger churches with a lot of youths, his ministry is to them, especially and particularly.

Nothing unbiblical about that.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Of course it happens. And giving marital counsel has, in my experience, never been a formality to me or to those receiving the counsel. I have never felt pressure to perform a wedding that conflicted with my convictions.

That's good to hear.

I guess we have a different view of a minister's role in conducting a funeral. It's not the minister's business to offer an eulogy, but to preach the gospel. And what better context to preach it, than to a congregation that is usually, by and large, strangers to grace?

I don't have a "set view" on this matter. Just laying something out there to start with.

Let me respond to this indirectly. Ministers are always going to take heat for subjective reasons, either for what they do or don't do. But if you think folk are not going to be critical of your preaching, then you're living in a never never land. :)

I don't think people won't be critical of my preaching. I think the opposite. I expect the opposite. Truthfully, sometimes I thrive off that sort of thing.

If you don't have the patience to bear with these things, you need not expect you'll have the patience to bear with those who will be critical of your preaching.

Nah, to me it's two totally different things.

There's a reason for that, but I'm not going to make it easy for you - think about it. :)

DTK

I know some of the reasoning, and disagree with most of it.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
I feel I need to clarify some things :)

-Weddings: Not against officiating them, but I am pretty "picky" about who I would want to join in marriage, and from my experience, that doesn't go over very well in many churches. Sure, they want you to counsel and all, but what happens when a pastor says of a members loved one "Sorry, I am not comfortable with this relationship." Does that ever happen? Counseling seems like a "formality" to me.

-Funerals: Ugh, what do you do when you've known and seen a persons vile, sinful life style yet the family says he was in Christ? I would never want to be "insensitive" but how do you handle that? I can't even imagine.

-Hospital visits- I've seen Church members get upset because a pastor visited someone who was "less sick" more often than someone who was "more sick". I've seen people leave churches because their loved one wasn't prayed for fervently enough while sick (and then they died).

It's not that I "don't care" about these things, it's just that I am not certain I have the patience to tolerate the "attitudes" of some Church members when they act in this way. Same with "budgets" and other such matters.

Youth pastor sounds GREAT to me, but how many reformed Churches have one of these? I've not seen many.

If you were going to be a pastor, you would have to go to seminary, not only this you should be mentored by a pastor. All this stuff you have questions on can be answered through the Church (pastor and testing your gifts) and Education (Seminary).

If now you think you might have the gift to preach, maybe you should try testing your gifts, you might like doing the things you say you don't like.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
I should clarify, I am speaking from what I have been taught and experience.

When I decided I wanted to be a pastor, all I wanted to do what preach, over the past 5 years I have grown to love those other vital parts of the ministry as well.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
That's encouraging! I think what appeals to me are the authors and scholars who have "conferences" on their subjects. I would LOVE to do something like that!
 
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