Wednesday, November 06, 2002
PREACHING IS generally a joy to those of us who do it. Working with a local congregation as an evangelist can be a most satisfying job--what could be more important than helping to spread God's message? Over the past few years I've known some young, talented, energetic men leave preaching to pursue secular jobs. They were frustrated and suffered burn-out. I think we've all known that feeling from time to time; when it gets to be one's predominant feeling it certainly is time to leave full-time preaching. We can do more harm than good without the right mindset. But we as Christians need to assess how we view our local preachers and how we treat them. I'm constantly told there is a 'preacher shortage'. I suppose in a larger sense, that's always true (the fields are white unto harvest). But have we made men reluctant to enter preaching? Are we running them off? I don't think it's simply a matter of 'if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen'. Not everyone is suited for preaching, certainly. But we don't need to make preachers run the gauntlet every week, either. I found an article by preacher's daughter and preacher's wife Jill Slater that has a lot of good things to say on the topic. And may God bless preacher's wives for what we ask them to go through! Note: The article is from Wineskins, something of a liberal publication even among our institutional brethren. As with all articles I link, not everything there is endorsed by me.