Saturday, July 9, 2011
I'm a Pastor. Am I a Professional?
A few days ago I saw Sara and our neighbor Mauricio talking about his house. He was asking her opinion of some issues relating to the value of his house. He was seeking her professional opinion. She's a realtor.
A few days ago we were quizzing Mauricio in our basement about some stuff related to the remodeling of our basement. We were seeking his professional opinion as a man in the construction and painting business.
Mauricio is an expert in home renovation. Sara is an expert in real estate.
I'm a pastor. Am I an expert? In what? Am I a professional?
How about an expert in the Bible? Well, I seem to know a lot more about the Bible than some Christians, but that shouldn't necessarily be the case. All Christians should read and study their Bibles and have a growing knowledge and understanding of it. (Remember the Bereans, who checked Paul's preaching against Scripture on a regular basis.)
How about an expert in counseling? Definitely not. I've listened to people describe their problems. I've asked questions along the way. I've touched on some issues along the way and made suggestions. But I can't fix their problems. I can only point them to Christ, the problem-fixer.
How about an expert in preaching and teaching? There is certainly an art to preaching, and sometimes I think I've got it, and sometimes, like this past Sunday, I'm sure I don't. Further, the Holy Spirit makes preaching and teaching effective. I can preach a perfect sermon, flawless in every respect, but if the Holy Spirit doesn't take it and connect it to people's hearts and minds, it accomplishes zero for the kingdom. So ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the expert in preaching and teaching.
Bottom line is, I don't consider myself an expert or a professional. There are times I wish I was. I would like to have a handle on something. But I don't. I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. An imperfect follower. I should read the Bible as much for me as for others. I pray, because if I don't pray I'm done for.
I suppose as a leader in the church I should be leading the congregation in every way. But in some ways I am not a leader; I am a follower. There are others who are lapping me in things such as mercy, compassion, generosity, thoughtfulness, love, patience, self-discipline, industriousness, holiness.
If I were an expert, a professional, would I need the Holy Spirit as much as I do?