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I was overcome with joy this Sunday as I listened to a young man preach God’s word in my church: he was faithful to the text, he heralded the gospel of Jesus, he stirred my soul. Tragically, many church planters and pastors never experience this. They never share their pulpits. Fear, pride, and laziness generally drive this, and it harms Christ’s church and, ironically, the pastor himself. 

1. You need a break

Do you want to preach God’s word for the long haul? Take regular weeks off to let God refill your tank and let others feed your soul. Don’t burn out by trying to preach 52 weeks a year. Many fear that the church won’t succeed apart from such a commitment. Don’t fool yourself. You are not that important.   

2. You need to share

Do you see a plurality of elders taught in Scripture? Share the teaching load with those leaders. Not all elders will be suited for preaching, but many will. Leadership and teaching are closely tied together in biblical eldership. Let them influence Christ’s church and take some of the burden of leadership from you through preaching. Many fear that listeners will prefer the preaching of those other men to themselves. Don’t buy that. You are not the point.  

3. You need some sympathy

Do you feel alone in the struggles of preaching? Let someone else take a stab at it. The old joke that a pastor only works on Sundays won’t garner many laughs as other men take turns wrestling with God and a text and then proclaiming the results to God’s people. Many fear that sharing the pulpit will invite further criticism of their weakness, but generally the opposite occurs. Don't be so insecure.  

4. You are called to equip

Do you want to raise up other leaders in your church? Give men an opportunity to preach. Ephesians 4:12 says that we are "to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” Pastors aren’t called to do all the ministry.

The health of our churches and the future of His kingdom depend upon saints being equipped and entrusted to do Christ’s work. This includes preaching. Many fear the quality of preaching will suffer if others are empowered, yet this is generally overstated. Don’t believe that. You are not that gifted.

Share the pulpit!

Yours may not be the fastest-growing church out there, there may be a rough message here and there, but God may use one of those men to change the world. Take some breaks. Train men. It’s not about you.

Kevin Larson is Lead Pastor of Karis Community Church in Columbia, Missouri. He is married to Amy and has three children—two boys (Hadley, 6, and Kylen, 2) and a girl (Melia, 4). You can follow him on Twitter at kevinplarson.

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Saul Dela Cruz

commented on Dec 29, 2011

Nice article this is true because some pastors they feel insecure with his leaders. Feeling he/she is the the best preacher, keep up the good work brother Kevin. To God be the glory.

Charles Wallis

commented on Dec 29, 2011

Traditionally, some preachers feel they should preach every sermon, every service, because they are called, paid, etc. But I have found that sometimes we think we are too important. One of my goals is to not be too important. I feel like I have a message, but I am no longer obsessed that I have to preach and God can use anyone He wants to.

Trevor Payton

commented on Dec 29, 2011

Good article. (Did we have the same article just a couple months ago, or is this one a different article on the same topic?) I like your goal, Charles: Not to be too important. I think that's golden. If we pastors think of ourselves too highly, we will stand in the way of people thinking of Jesus Christ appropriately. John the Baptist: "He must become greater; I must become less."

R.l. Wilson

commented on Dec 29, 2011

I found this in the churches that I attended. One pastor even stated to the ministers, "if you came here to preach there will only be a wee-bit of preaching for you.". His reasoning was he was called by God to preach to the church and not the ministers.

Eugene Harris Jr

commented on Dec 29, 2011

Excellent article as someone who 's new to the idea of standing in front of a group of people and sharing the Word of God I truly appreciate your perspective on how to share the pulpit so that not only is the congregation enriched but so are both you and that novice who as been called by God to share His Word with the multitude...

Dr. Michael Shanlian

commented on Dec 29, 2011

Insightful article. I started preaching forty years ago and started a church at age twenty-three. It took me about fifteen years to figure out that lots of guys could preach circles around me. Preaching is about ministry not competition!

Thomas Gaskill

commented on Dec 29, 2011

I have been praying about sharing the pulpit on a regular basis. Plurality of elders within the church would make this possible. I believe it would be very edifying for the body if they could hear two or even three messages by different preachers. The messages would have to be short and to the point; perhaps they could even expand on and compliment each other?! When done with order and love, it could be one of the learned strengths of the Corinthian church from 1Cor. 14:29-33.

Debra Moore

commented on Dec 30, 2011

This was such an insightful message, I was told by my previous Pastor that the Pulpit was her platform and no one else, but I knew when I heard it that it was wrong, everybody is not trying to take your place, but if you are shepherding God's people then you should also be training those that He has called also and that may mean sharing your Pulpit.

David Riddering

commented on Dec 30, 2011

Good points! I have learned these important truths in over 30 years of ministry and wonder how anybody can survive trying to be Superman in the pulpit! Listen up pastors!

Abraham Naki

commented on Dec 30, 2011

I thank the Lord that our Pastor has implemented this practice already in our church. He is not afraid to share the pulpit with his Elders. He believes that all our men should be trained to preach the Gospel and share the Good News of Christ Jesus. Mahalo for your Article.

Gordon Dorsey

commented on Jan 1, 2012

shalom shalom this is a very good statement i thank my pastor for allowing me to develop my preaching skills if he had not i would have never advancedin my ministry.fellow pastors allow other men of YAHVAH(GOD) to secure their skills with confidence.

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