It’s really no secret to those who know me that I never had any aspirations to be THE pastor of a church. My road to the position I hold at North Point was not the one I chose. In many ways, it chose me. I know whenever I speak critically of the position or the role of the pastor, I run the risk of coming across ungrateful or even disappointed in where the path has led. Not true.
I get to serve alongside some of the most amazing people. We partner together in genuine kingdom work. It has been a privilege to teach my understanding of God’s Word to my friends in this church family. My shortcomings are accepted. My mistakes are forgiven. The freedom to be who and what God has gifted me to be, even when I am up in front or carrying out some of the more traditional expectations, is an honor very few in my position are ever afforded.
Thankfulness falls so short…
But that doesn’t mean I rest easy with what I do. Some of the actions I perform as a regular part of my weekly routine are things that desperately need to be called into question…both Biblically and practically. Here’s one I will circle back to. Again.
Why do we continue to make the preaching of a sermon the most important part of our weekly time together as a whole church family…when we have known for decades that monologue teaching is really one of the least effective forms of communication? Do you even remember the point of last week’s sermon? Yikes.
Why do we continue to lift up the position of the pastor as the single most important role in the church, when Jesus clearly modeled (and the NT writers clearly taught) the need for a holy man to lead the people was now obsolete?
I know that preaching (and the preacher) have been the sacred cow of the church for hundreds of years…and I am calling into question the role of countless preachers-pastors-evangelists-teachers-orators-and theologians throughout history. I know this is one step away from heresy to suggest that maybe, just maybe, something is amiss in the plan. I get it.
But what I see in history, and especially in the modern church, is not the picture I see painted in the Bible. I know Jesus spoke to big crowds on occasion. I know the Apostles did likewise. But the concept of crowds coming to sit at the feet of a particular man, to hear his spin, er… personal interpretation, on the Bible once a week, just doesn’t cut it for me.
And I’m guilty of doing it!
The body of Christ is full of voices that need to be heard. Our own church family has stories that need to be told, answers to prayer that would inspire others, praise that needs to be articulated, and communion that needs to be shared. I think we have a room full of personal insights into Scripture, and life, that would blow us away. But we are falling short of making a way for this to happen.
I think we could do better. A lot better.