Preacher Wannabees

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Preacher Wannabees

Apostolic Light Publishing
Published by H T Paul Davis in Ministry · 25 February 2019
The church has several types of preachers today that are not suggested as Bible types of ministry.
The Entertainer.  It is not necessarily true that mega-churches exist as a product of the charismatic entertaining preachers who often are most noticed as the “televangelist” of this modern age.  There are lots of things that contribute to the growth of churches.  But there are a great number of preachers today who are experts of marketing, entertainment, and attention getting using all the techniques of showmanship.  Sadly, there are lesser known preachers filling pulpits today that are part time “stand up comics”.  This is not to disparage humor in delivery on occasion, but the question will be does it suit the purpose of the message at hand.  In general, the use of “entertainment” as a vehicle for attracting a crowd in order to deliver the gospel message is seen as “becoming all things to all men”.  But does the entertainment factor replace the “drawing of the spirit”, the “anointing of the Holy Ghost”, the “power of the gospel” with men’s devices.  I believe the entertainer is often guilty of that kind of preaching, and this contributes greatly to the worldliness and carelessness that exists in the church today.
The Philosopher.  Many preachers today resort to reason, rationalization, and worldly wisdom as sources for ministry.  Many commentaries are sermon notes eventually put into print. Certainly the advent of the internet has opened up a wealth of material, but prior to the internet there were the libraries of books, articles, and sermon illustrations available for use by preachers.  These often became the source for the sermon rather than the Holy Bible.  Certainly having this material can provide great supplemental material for use in a sermon, but there is nothing written by man that can substitute or replace the Word of God as the basis for preaching to God’s church.  In addition, if the anointing of the Holy Spirit and quickening of God’s spirit in the mind and heart while the sermon is being prepared or being delivered is not there – all you have left is what I allude to here – reason, rationalization, and worldly wisdom.  The apostle Paul had a lot to say about the subject in 1 Corinthians, chapter 2.  The crux of his teaching might be summed up in verses 12 – 13.[1][1]  Take time to read this chapter now.
The Psychologist.  Whether “prosperity doctrine” or something else, “mind manipulators” abound in preaching today.  It even comes to the surface at times with true ministers of the gospel, for there are times where human nature takes over and personal agendas become the stuff of the message.  It is easy for most preachers to find themselves depending more and more on psychological experience then on anointing – particularly since most preachers are either additionally trained in psychology, or simply sensitive to human nature because of the presence of God’s spirit in their lives.  As preachers, we deal with human nature all the time.  We are regularly involved in the trials and temptations of the lives of people to whom we minister.  We are sometimes caseworkers, family therapist, or police officers.  We try to be lawyers, judges, or doctors.  We are so involved with the psychology of people that if we are not careful we become attuned more to the human psyche than the spirit (“psyche”) of God when it comes time to do the preaching.
The Professor.  I love church history and there are times when using it is appropriate for a sermon.  There are great benefits to understanding the culture, language, and idioms for Bible times and peoples.  Jesus was a master in using illustrations of common and ordinary events for his parables and sermons.  But teaching happens on many levels.  The elementary school teacher would not give a class on the level of graduate school material to a sixth grader.  However, there are some preachers who are convinced that “knowledge is salvation”. There are whole church denominations that focus on reaching the intellectual part of man, and which show disdain to churches who show too much emotion as a part of their church norms. There certainly is a part of church society that loves the lofty, gives particular credence to the credentials of a preacher, and that doesn’t mind the existential when it comes to preaching. Here is a good scriptural principle to remember: “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” 1 Cor 8:1
The Imitators.  We are all sponges when it comes to learning behaviors. Seldom is there a time when every word we speak in a sermon is an original thought or revelation.  Timothy surely quoted Paul as he preached in Ephesus, and our sermon quotes are not only from scripture but from our pastors and teachers.  It a great honor to sit under the ministry of great men of God who have great preaching ministries.  I thank of the several preachers who have contributed much to my own education in ministry and I believe their influence has come through in my own preaching.  I have often rejoiced when I heard young men who have been under my ministry present those things that I have taught, making references to remarks that I have made and sometimes quoting my own words as a part of their sermon material.[2][2]  However, with the advent of new technology, sermon material and even whole sermons are available as never before.  This creates opportunity to be a blessing or can be a problem if too much dependence exists on material that comes from these sources.
Over the years I have seen many imitators that have filled pulpits. Sometimes it shows up in behavior and mannerisms.  I am concerned, for example, that many believe that “shouting” is always anointing. Others have picked up the “sucking wind” syndrome – only one of several mannerisms that have been demonstrated among preachers.  But the worst problem is in the actual preaching, when there are some who primarily depend on sources other than prayer and personal Bible study to present their message.  A problem in many denominations is that the weekly message comes from headquarters, and every congregation is receiving the dictated message. This is simply not God’s way for preaching.

[1][1] 1 Cor. 2: 12 – 13:  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
[2][2] 2 Timothy 2:1 -2:  Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

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