Word of the Week: Transcendence

A Pastor's Thoughts on Preaching

By Elizabeth Prata

The following was published as a Twitter thread last night. I thought it encapsulated the inner thoughts and struggles of a preaching pastor so well. As you head out to church services this morning, please think on these things, and if possible, contact your pastor sometime in the following days or week to let him know how the sermon impacted you, to encourage him.

Zach Putthoff is a pastor for preaching in his church in Lafayette, CO.
@ZachPutthoff

A thread on the recent complementarian kerfuffle:

Referring to the practice of only allowing men to preach in the gathered church as a sign of disrespect

As great of a privilege as it is to proclaim God's good Word to the gathered church, it is nevertheless not a sexy job. It's kept me up at night as I agonize over how far short I fall of its call and command, wondering how I'll ever be able to preach it without hypocrisy.

It's stretched my brain and heart to the limit as I work within the boundaries of time and fatigue and my own weak intellect and lack of knowledge.

It subjects the preacher to frequent criticisms and empty atta-boys on the one hand, and utter silence from the pews on the other. How many times have I preached my heart out and heard literally nothing about the sermon from anyone afterward? Did it have an impact? Who knows.

None of this is to complain whatsoever about the ministry of preaching. As I said, it's an immense privilege, one that I am in no way worthy of, but for the grace of Christ.

Preaching the word is a bit like dying in public, one week at a time, for the good of others. I get that some have become quite famous and made good money doing it, but they are the exception not the rule, and are often not the best examples of what it means to be a preacher.

In the best of complementarian thought, leadership in the home and church is not a place of glory and honor, but a place of sacrifice and service. Same goes for preaching. It is a ministry of service, not a symbol of respect.

So, the practice of only allowing men to preach to the gathered church, should not, in and of itself, be taken as a sign of disrespect for women. It is instead a call to specific men in the church to die in public one week at a time, for the good of their brothers *and sisters.*
Not Pastor Putthoff's church. EPrata photo

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for posting this.

    My personality has always been naturally a little effusive, especially when I was young (being old and tired has definitely tempered me), but when I was saved I hit a whole new level of enthusiasm. For everything and everyone. :) I loved writing notes to the men in my church who taught (we didn't have a pastor, the brothers with the gift of teaching shared the responsibility) to share with them what the LORD had taught me through them. I was growing by leaps and bounds and I was so thankful for it. The problem was, they hardly ever responded and eventually I quit writing because I felt like I was bothering them.

    If what this preacher shared is a universal experience among teachers, I'm going to assume the LORD used me at least a little to encourage them, and they just didn't feel comfortable mentioning it (which is understandable).

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    Replies
    1. I am sure they were enocuraged!! The note sounds like a great idea, they can return to it and abosrob it at their pace. :)

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