Preachers are a dime a dozen. Good preachers are rare. Perfect preachers do not exist. Yet churches often expect their preachers to live and function at an unreasonable level. I have been at the Eastern Shore Church of Christ for 13 years this month. During that time I have enjoyed nothing but support and encouragement from every person here. I honestly have no complaints or discomforts. The people here care for me and my family far beyond anything I deserve.
But some of my preaching colleagues are not so blessed. Hardly a week goes by when a brother is hurt by some excessive expectation. It is for these brothers that I write a series I call “The Preacher Unmasked.” Truthfully, many preachers would prefer I not write this. They are comfortable behind the facade of strength, endurance and purity. But when we fail to meet those expectations, and we will, trouble is close.
I do not offer this as any kind of expert. I am not. I struggle with the same issues. I just hope to help.
My goal is to stimulate thinking among brethren as to how they can encourage their preachers. Men are leaving the pulpit for secular work and that is a shame. If a congregation loses a man to secular work they should explore their own culpability, if any, and make corrections.
This series, which will appear over the course of the week, may prove inflammatory to some people. But let me be clear about three things.
- This is not about my work at Eastern Shore so don’t call and offer me a job. I truly am blessed beyond measure. It is because of their love and support for me that I can write such a piece as this with comfort and security.
- This is not about any one congregation or work. I have no interest in singling out anyone. But if you feel a bit uncomfortable you should consider a few hours of introspection.
- My ultimate aim is to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. He is glorified through the work of all Christians.
Please read on. I hope it helps.