Where are all the modern strong preacher/pastors who effectively lead their congregation to be faithful Christians?
In my early years of ministry, guys who preached the Gospel with no apology; Davis, Lindsay, Lockridge, Hill, Beasley, Smith, Rogers, Havner, and Vines, these men inspired preacher-boys like me to work to see souls saved and disciples made. I am certain they dealt with opposition, with private fears, and with unreasonable expectations from disgruntled members. But through it all, they preached the Truth, regardless of personal consequences to their own ministries. They were strong pulpiteers who ignored public opinion in order to proclaim the gospel.
When I look out over the current Christian scene, I see leaders of movements, great communicators of important information, gatherers of crowds, talented speakers, and authors. What I DO NOT see are men of God boldly proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ, with no agenda other than pleasing the One who called and sent them out.
Today, we have more churches, old and new; with better designed facilities, huge activity centers, separate services for all types of worship styles, ‘new and improved’ outreach programs, and with Christian radio and television broadcasts. But with all the improvements, we are seeing less serious commitment to Jesus; resulting in more immorality, more divorce, increased skepticism … and all this within the church walls!
What has happened? Some might say we expect too much. Others could claim it is all about methodology being “out of date.” There are those who simply blame it on the times we are living in, some just claim Satan is stronger, or any of a dozen reasons.
Truth? To me, many of our churches have “grown weary in well doing.” By this statement, I mean that some of our church members have decided they do not want to be confronted with their sin as exposed by the Word, and so they “heap to ourselves teachers, having itching ears.” In many congregations, members have also decided they need someone to increase the attendance, or the offerings, or their acceptability in the community. The answer to all these concerns-the sacrificial lamb- is Bible preachers and sound doctrine.
Where are all the preachers?
Because of the above mentioned wants of the people, all too often the role of the preacher/pastor has been reduced to the “hireling”, who is expected to just tend to the physical and emotional needs of the flock. A hireling is not a true shepherd, whose primary focus and job is the spiritual growth of his people. A strong shepherd will ignore the complaints, shrug off the gossip, and swallow his fears, in order to preach what his flock needs to hear. But in today’s churches, many times the pastor/preacher is given to understand that his main job is church expansion and fostering successful social relationships among the flock, and out of fear a “hireling” will cave in to this demand.
I find it amazing that we are baffled about the crime in our towns, the fracturing of our families and the unsaved condition of the vast majority of our kids. But what else should we expect when too often the local church has muzzled the preacher, so that we have done away with the clear teachings of scripture?
In recent months, I have been an attender in some services where sin was never mentioned, and no life-changing gospel was ever offered. Why is that? I believe it is the result of fear in the pulpit. Fear that is stifling the preachers into just giving sermons that will not offend.
I long for somebody to stand and hold forth His truth. Truth that can save, truth that changes behavior and makes a person act more like Him. Good ideas of men will never save a soul or a family. It takes a Saviour that is clearly lifted up, held out as the only means of salvation, and the only hope or help for those in the throes of this world’s clutches.
And that takes a preacher/pastor who is willing to face and control his fears, and willing to preach strong truth, to “not be dismayed by the looks on their faces.”
Where are the preachers?
Maybe I should ask, where are the Christians that are hungry for God, His Word and will settle for nothing less? Where are those dissatisfied with commonplace “churchianity”, who desire a real move of the Spirit of God? Those believers and churches should request or demand a pastor who will stand and proclaim liberty through Jesus, and then stand by him through thick and thin. They need a preacher!
It is time for men of God to PREACH like never before. It is time for churches to encourage their preacher to preach without fear or threat. As the old timer said when the clock chimed 13 times, “It surely is later than it’s ever been before!”