Sep 13, 2011

The Frustration of Presumed Mediocrity and Superfluous Babbling

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I've just been subjected to a endless foray of psycho-babble.  No, I wasn't caught talking to myself. Rather, I have had to endure several sessions of bumper sticker preaching, that has been soaked in miniscule theology, and served with a heavy dose of salesmanship. I'm oozing with disdain.  Unfortunately, there are not many people who care to discuss these type of subjects. A good grip of people around me have a "eat-the-meat-and-spit-out-the-bones" kind of listening style when subjected to a “tasering” of preaching. I do, too, but I have to vent.  Ergo, I am venting via this media form.  It's therapeutic.  Anyway, I digress ... 

As a preacher, I know it is a very difficult thing to produce a palatable message for the Google infected audiences that surround us.  The Internet can provide a vast array of preaching styles within moments.  This is great for the listener but not so wondrous for the local preacher.  It's sort of like being a local band that's, at least, live compared to the packaged digital music onslaught of the internet/cable/whatever.  So, with that said, my hat off to the local preachers.  

However, I still find myself incredibly agitated by manipulative sermons, pompous windbags, hipster theology, archaic proliferations, fudgy glossalalia, and speculative meanderings that rob the thinking person of, well, thinking.  I just heard a pastor that spoke so fast that once his listener might realize that something he just said was not up to theological snuff, he was already three sentences into his next point. This is not a style problem. I know many preachers that preach that way and are very effective.  Regardless, it was very apparent that he was controlling his audience and hindering their growth.  I was tempted to raise my hand and ask him, with the love of Jesus in my heart, just what in the Hades he was talking about.  Utter nonsense.  

Herein lies my hope for would be preachers:  

1. Think:  Use your mind ... your God given mind ... to realize that not everyone who comes through your door is a simpleton.  Intelligence is not a sin. Freethinking is not a sin. People who don't agree with you are not, necessarily, wrong.    

2. Train: Seminary, teamwork, Internet, listen to other pastors, watch yourself on video, ... READ, etc. PRAY ... 

3. Test: Develop a healthy network or team of people who will lovingly, and with wisdom/skill, present constructive criticism. Also, if your style is filled with prophecies and outrageous statements ... those should be tested as well. 

Alright. I'm done. I still am thankful for those pastors.  We need everyone to rise up and answer the call that the Lord has placed on their hearts.  They just need to allow that "iron-sharpens-iron" mentality to permeate their being a bit more.  




Anonymous said...

WOW. How I ended up on your site, I am unsure, HOWEVER, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your input and perspective on pastors and the local church. Thank you for your sense of humor that carried me through the "BIG WORDS"! My husband and I are ministers who have served at three churches and recently moved back to our home town to begin our own church. I often find myself pondering similar thoughts as yours, minus the vocabulary! :-)

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