We've released a new version of SermonCentral! Read the release notes here.
Preaching Articles

Many aspiring preachers are in an associate or assistant minister slot. Some are paid and many are unpaid.

The majority are considered clergy by their denomination, while others are considered lay people. In any case, these people have felt the call to ministry that often includes the call to preach. However, in many churches there are simply not enough opportunities to preach for all of the unpaid associates and assistants. Some senior pastors work to make opportunities for these assistants, while other senior pastors simply ignore the issue. I also have found that many people wanted more help for those in associate ministry. I pray this article will help in that regard.

Lack of Preaching Can Cause Frustration

The problem is that people who feel a call to preach and are not given the opportunity to preach often cause problems for the congregation. They sometimes start to fight with other leaders, desiring their preaching opportunities. Sometimes they turn every time they are in the pulpit into a preaching moment. So they are reading the scripture, and they turn that into a sermon. They announce the hymn, and that is a sermon. Yes, one who feels the call to preach and never gets an outlet for that call will feel frustrated and often will take it out on the congregation, pastor and the other church leaders.

Supporting Role In Church ... Lead Role Outside

I was talking recently to an associate about this very problem. This associate noted that those of us who are in associate ministry must first and foremost recognize that our role is one of support. Support the senior pastor. Support the worship service. Support the congregation. Our role in church is to “plug the gaps.” You may not preach but once or twice a year in the church, but you must know your role at church is to “support.”

But in order to be successful in that support role, you must allow the Holy Spirit to help you find your specific ministry that you can lead. This ministry will more than likely be outside the walls of the church, but does not have to be. Successful associates have found that nursing home ministry can be a valid and powerful outlet for their gifts. There are many of our seniors who have no one to visit them and have no way of getting to church. Perhaps you can bring church to them.

Another important ministry is jail or prison ministry. There are tons of inmates who have come to the Lord as a result of someone bringing the church to them. As an associate, whether paid or unpaid, in many cases you are an ordained minister. That standing opens doors of service. People need to hear the Word of truth even outside of the walls of the church.

Have you thought about working at a downtown mission? Many missions have worship services that need preachers. Those who find themselves in such situations really need to hear the Word presented. I can remember that when I preached consistently in a downtown mission it totally transformed my preaching in very positive ways.

How about publishing ministry? Do you have a book in you? Can you help the people of God by preaching the Word in book form? If God has called you to spread the Word, maybe you can spread it through the “printed page.” Remember that books can go where you could not go otherwise.

I would be remiss if I didn’t briefly add the internet ministry. There are tons of ministers who use the internet to spread a word of hope. I get emails from people who send a thought through email. I am Facebook friends with people who use their status updates to talk about God’s love. Twitter, blogs, etc. They all are opportunities for those who have been called.

I actually have a minister friend who started a radio program in his local area. He found sponsors and now he “preaches” over the airwaves every week. He did not wait for permission or an assignment, but simply went forth and God blessed.

By no means are these the only ministry opportunities. What you will find, however, is that when you are successfully doing God’s work outside the church, more opportunities for service inside the church will materialize. Dear associate, go do the work that God has called you to do and watch God open more doors.

Be a Light Where You Are

Finally, wherever you are, be a light. You are at work and someone needs hope. Someone needs the light of truth. Someone needs to know someone cares. You are speaking to relatives; allow God to speak through your words of comfort and hope and power. Let people know you are a minister by your reliance on God and the truth.

If you have been called to preach, preaching once or twice a year in a church does not fulfill your obligation. Don’t allow bitterness to overtake you. Whether your senior pastor opens the door or not, please find an outlet for your ministerial work. God will bless it, and the whole world will be edified.

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Spencer Miller

commented on May 2, 2013

What a Rhema Word! What an ephiphany for myself and others in my shoes. The late Dr. Leo Daniels once said, "The blues for a preacher is wanting to preach but having no where to preach" thank you! Allow me to recommend a book by Manuel Scott, jr. as well, it is entitled, "Preacher Wait Your Turn".

Deborah Green

commented on May 2, 2013

The gift is to be stirred up. What great practical wisdom filled advice. Thanks for sharing ways of stirring our gift up and getting out there and ministering the Word....

Dr. Ronald Shultz

commented on May 2, 2013

If you really want to preach there are plenty of jails, nursing homes and rescue missions and the street if all else fails. Also make yourself to churches in the area as a supply pastor when a pastor is sick or a church loses a pastor. Indeed, you can do as I have done and have an Internet ministry with a blog, web site and on sermon posting sites. Plenty of free sites are available as well as many Christian forums. If it's truly in you then you will find a place to get it out.

Keith B

commented on May 2, 2013

One more place to preach: The street corner. We are seeing street preaching grow more and more common again. You used to see it all the time.

Bill Williams

commented on May 2, 2013

The author makes some good suggestions. And certainly, I applaud the idea that ministry, even the preaching ministry, must not be confined inside the four walls of the church. In these respects, I think the article presents a perspective that is truly worth sharing. Having said that, I would like to question the assertion that "in many churches there are simply not enough opportunities to preach." Jesus told his disciples, "The harvest is great, but the laborers are few." In every church that I've been involved in throughout my life, the problem has never been that there were too many people wanting to minister, and not enough for them to do. I have, however, witnessed the problem of too many people monopolizing available opportunities. I mean, there are fifty-two weekends a year. That is more than enough opportunities to allow those who have been called by God to the preaching ministry to exercise that ministry in the context of the local church at worship, unless there is only one person who monopolizes the pulpit every single week except for an occasional basis. If a pastor is preaching so often that others in the congregation who have also been called by God to share in that ministry do not have the opportunity to do so, then that pastor is being neglectful of his primary responsibility, which is to equip the saints for the work of ministry. The pastor does not have to preach every single weekend, nor even most weekends. If God has called others in the congregation to preach, it is because he wants that ministry to be shared, and because there will be more than enough opportunity to do so. Another suggestion is to be intentional about planting many small churches, not trying to grow ONE church indefinitely. Doing so will obviously provide even more opportunities to participate in the preaching ministry. Times haven't changed that much since Jesus, and what he said back then I believe still holds true. The harvest is great but the laborers are few. There are more than enough opportunities to preach, both outside the church walls, as this article so excellently proposed, but also within the church walls. The opportunities are there, as long as they are not monopolized by a few. Blessings to each of you today!

Michael Karpf

commented on May 2, 2013

You also wrote an article a few months ago, Waiting to Preach. This is another very timely article. Your reminder for associate pastors is that you are there in a support role is something we need to be reminded of again. It can be frustrating if the senior pastor is the only one who preaches. But that is his prerogative and the associate pastor still needs to support him. One final suggestion, is if you feel called to preach, pray and allow God to open or close doors. Don't manipulate or force doors open. Don't go complaining to church members or anyone for that matter. Pray and wait God's timing. I was in a ministry where I preached nearly every week for 4 years, and that ministry ended with the expiration of my contract. I have been in a hard and dry place for the past years and while I have had opportunities to preach in several churches, it is not on a regular basis. Of late, I very seldom get asked to preach and I have gone through periods of doubt and depression. I have also realized that when God wants to use a man in a significant way, He often takes him out of commission for a time and he will feel useless. I have often felt God has put me on the shelf permanently. This kind of thinking can be very self destructive. If you feel called to preach but opportunities are not there, do like your previous article suggested; and prepare sermons anyway. In the movie Facing the Giants, Coach Taylor was reminded to prepare his fields to receive the rain. God will send it when He is ready. You need to be prepared to receive it. God may be using this time to shape you for future ministry. Thank you Sherman, for another excellent article.

Anthony Skala

commented on May 2, 2013

There are many churches that the pastor is the only minister. I fall in this category myself. While I try to find young preachers to preach on Sunday and Weds nights I don?t know a lot of them. It would help if they would be led by the Holy Spirit and visit churches without an appointment to preach. I used to visit a lot before I started pastoring and I always found the pastor glad to see me and tell me he had prayed that the Lord would send someone to preach for him this morning. The Lord called us to preach and not wait for an appointment. I would encourage every young preacher to visit other churches especially those that you know needs the help.

Bill Williams

commented on May 2, 2013

@Michael, please do not take this as me trying to be argumentative, but it is not the prerogative of the senior pastor to be the only one who preaches. On the contrary, if God has called others in the congregation to the preaching ministry, it is a sin for the senior pastor to monopolize the preaching. The pulpit does not belong to the senior pastor; it belongs to Christ alone, and he alone has the prerogative to choose whom he will place upon it. The primary job description of the pastor is not to preach every week, but to equip the saints for the work of ministry. You cannot equip the saints for the work of ministry if you monopolize the ministry. Furthermore, I am very uncomfortable with the use of the terms "Senior Pastor" and "Associate Pastor". Not only are the terms absent from Scripture, but they also assume a hierarchical, top-down model of leadership that is strongly condemned by Jesus in passages such as Mark 10. The associate pastor does not serve a supporting role to the senior pastor. The pastor (EVERY pastor) serves a supporting role to Christ, the ONLY head of the church, for the edification of that church. I understand the point that is being made, that we should serve faithfully in whatever role God has given us and be prepared for when greater opportunities arise. And that is a worthy point to make. But in making that point, we must be careful not to assume leadership models that are clearly condemned by Scripture.

Margaret Minnicks

commented on May 2, 2013

Thank you so much for writing this article. You are so right. I belong to a church where there are two pastors. They are twins, a brother and sister, and they alternate preaching. One preaches one month and the other preaches the next month. Needless to say, the associate ministers get very few chances to preach at this particular church. However, I get to preach and teach quite often. Each week I preach on blogtalkradio.com. I publish Christian articles on examiner.com and send out a short inspirational devotional to thousands of people all over the world every weekday. While a sermon is heard in the pulpit for a short time on Sunday, God has provided for me to reach the masses on a daily basis. What is so important is that what I post online lasts long after the church doors are closed.

Charles Ingwe

commented on May 2, 2013

With due respect to some points raised by brother Bill, I only wish to point out that the bible may have not used the terms like assistant pastor but the elaboration like Aaron being senior and his sons as juniors does show the aspect of seniority in order for the work to be administered in an orderly way. Elisha had junior prophets as well. I trust this is for the purpose of saving the trouble of " when Isreal had no King, anyone did as they pleased. " Even among the apostles, Peter was given the leadership role.

Alan Montgomery Hutchens

commented on May 2, 2013

Both the article and the responses read as if they were a diary of the ministry which the Lord has afforded me. I find myself in great similarity to the comments of Michael Karpf. I served as pastor of a small congregation, and then as contracted interim pastor of another. When that contract ended, I attended a neighboring pastor's services. I did not attend with the idea of filing his pulpit. Actually, I was in awe of his teaching, and was feasting on the Word as I attended. One morning, he taught that God's call of a preacher is for a specific time at a specific place. He went on to elaborate that, if a preacher ever found himself without a public place of ministry (actually, a pulpit in which to preach), then God has rescinded His call on that preacher. Of course, this seemed cruel and opposed to several Bible texts, to my mind. I did not blow up or march out of the service. But, I did write him a very kind, polite, and thorough note later that week, being quite complimentary of his ministry. I made clear my concern, and offered that I might have misunderstood his intention. I assured him that I was convinced of God's call upon his life and ministry, and that I would forever believe that God had called him, even if he should ever find himself minus a pulpit, since the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. I expected that he would contact me in some form. On the contrary, I never heard from him again. Therefore, I suppose that I understood him correctly. Perhaps he simply did not want my presence in his services anymore, and knew that that would do it. Regardless, he is no longer serving that congregation. But, I wish him well. The suggestions regarding nursing homes, prisons and jails, radio ministry, and Internet ministry are good ones. I have done and am doing them all. Thank the Lord for the outlets! Still, a preacher who has discerned that his calling is to pastor a congregation, for example, cannot find ultimate fulfillment as a radio preacher. Now, some may respond to this by saying: "You discerned incorrectly, if God hasn't given you a perpetual pulpit within a local church!" Perhaps. Still, be careful, dear preacher, lest you end up walking several miles in the shoes of those for whom this has not been the experience. Let's be careful that we not sound like the disciples did in John 21:17-23. God's call on our lives was individual. He has an individual ministry for each of us. And, mine may not look very much like yours, at all.

Beverly Birchfield

commented on May 2, 2013

I am the pastor and only preacher of our small church. I look for preachers all the time...I invite ministers to fill the pulpit but I cannot find them....

Pastor Sandy .

commented on May 2, 2013

@Bill Williams. You make some very good points regarding the senior pastor, however, in real life, the senior pastor ordinarily has a contract that allows him a certain number of weeks each year to invite a substitute pastor. That is the situation in my own church, but I am a very active member of our Pulpit Supply Team, and have opportunities to preach at other churches, in addition to filling in at my own church. I also have an on-line Prayer Ministry, weekly. We have members of our Prayer Team in a dozen different states and Canada, and we do this by e-mail, accepting prayer requests from all over the country. I add to the prayer list a short devotional each week, sort of a mini-sermon, if. As Sherman suggests, there are many, many ways to minister. Thanks, Sherman, once again for a really good article.

Pastor Sandy .

commented on May 2, 2013

@Beverly #12 - What state are you in?

Keith B

commented on May 2, 2013

If you can't find a fill-in....is there not a Seminary or Bible College nearby? When I was in my last year of Seminary I preached once a month in a small Presbyterian Church. They had a female pastrix preach twice a month...but I knew they heard sound teaching at least once a month from me.

Pastor Sandy .

commented on May 2, 2013

@k b Are we to assume that you assume there was no sound teaching going on the other three Sundays at that little church. And I am not familiar with the term "pastrix" - is this something new? Forgive my naivete'.

Bill Williams

commented on May 2, 2013

@Charles, I appreciate your response, and I welcome the opportunity to elaborate on my comments. The examples of Aaron and Elijah are taken from the OT. While I believe that the OT is just as inspired as the NT, and while there are certainly principles that we can learn from the OT, we also need to recognize that God did not always work according to his ideal purposes in the OT. Remember, the Aaronic priesthood was God's plan B. Plan A was for the entire nation of Israel to be a kingdom of priests. So, we need to be careful that we don't directly transfer principles of leadership from the OT that God may have "winked at in times of ignorance." Now, as far as Peter in the NT is concerned, it is true that he had a certain level of intimacy with, and access to, Christ that not all the other disciples had. But this should not imply a certain level of "higher authority" than that of the other apostles. I refer you to the text I alluded to earlier, Mark 10:42-43 "You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you." The hierarchical model of leadership that was common among the Gentiles, and which continues to be common in contemporary secular culture, is clearly prohibited by Christ. Consider also the Jerusalem council in Acts 15. We do not see Peter "presiding" over the gathering. He shares his experience, as do Paul and Barnabas, and it is James who recommends a course of action, which is agreed to ultimately by "the whole church" (v. 22). There is no specific person "leading" the gathering, other than Christ himself as he dwells in the whole church through the Holy Spirit, and exercises the authority that has been given to him (e.g. Matthew 28:18) through the church as a whole. I think you would agree that this is very different from the way we usually think of, and speak of, "church leadership."

Bill Williams

commented on May 2, 2013

@Pastor Sandy, it is good to hear from you. I hadn't read anything from you in a while, and I'm sure you've been very busy with the ministry God has given you. But your thoughts are very welcome whenever you can spare them! Yes, I am well aware that a senior pastor ordinarily has a contract that allows him a certain number of weeks each year to invite a substitute pastor. But I would suggest that if the number of weeks alloted for substitute pastors is such that people who have been clearly called by God to the preaching ministry do not have enough opportunity to exercise that ministry, perhaps it may be a good idea to reevaluate the contract! Contractual obligations must not be allowed to hold priority over the NT obligation for pastors to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, which includes allowing them the opportunities to exercise those ministries, including the preaching ministry. Now, I agree that the preaching ministry should not be confined to the four walls of the church alone, which is why I commended the author for making that point in his excellent article. My purpose was not to dismiss that point, but rather to add to it, by pointing out that within the four walls of the church, that ministry must also be exercised by those who have been called by God to do so. I know that what I'm saying goes very much against the conventional thinking of most contemporary Christian churches. Most Christians--unfortunately, in my opinion--are accustomed to hearing only one preacher on a regular basis, and thus become dependent on that preacher for their "feeding" of the Bible, instead of learning how to feed straight from the Bible for themselves. This produces precisely the kind of Christians that we see today. Most Christians do not know how the study and interpret the Bible for themselves, and thus they do not know how to live in this world out of a Biblical worldview. I compare the situation to someone who only reads the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John is wonderful, and it has many truths. But there are three other Gospels as well that are equally deserving of our attention. Or someone who only reads the Pauline epistles. Paul was a wonderful, inspired, Holy Spirit-filled writer. But we need to read James' and John's epistles as well. Or someone who reads only the NT, but not the OT; or who reads only the narrative portions of the OT, but skips past Leviticus or Malachi; or...well, you get the idea. Just as it pleased God to compose the Scriptures through many different authors, and in many different genres; so I believe it pleases God to provide many voices to preach that multi-faceted Scripture in the context of a local congregation at worship. This is not something we see at most churches, but it is not completely unheard of. At the church I attend, our pastor preaches about twenty weekends each year. The other thirty-two weekends are distributed among about four or five of us (including myself) in the congregation who have been trained by our pastor to preach, with an occasional guest speaker from outside the congregation about two or three times a year. I can testify personally that after having experienced one-pastor-dominated preaching in all of the churches I've attended my whole life, this paradigm change has opened up the Scriptures for me in a whole new way, and I know that is the testimony of many in our congregation as a whole! These are just a few of my thoughts regarding this subject, and I thank you for taking the time to consider them. Blessings to you!

Bill Williams

commented on May 2, 2013

@Pastor Sandy, don't worry, you are not naive by any means. "Pastrix" is not an actual English word. I don't know if KB coined the term himself, or if it used in some circles, but it appears that he uses the term to refer to female pastors. It also appears that he uses the term in a derogatory manner, but he can confirm that for himself.

Keith B

commented on May 2, 2013

@Sandy....if their regular preacher was a woman, she was being disobedient to Gods word. Such a pastrix (female pastor) cannot be depended on to preach the rest of it correctly if they are willing to overlook the basic prerequisites to hold the position. If that describes you, I'm sorry...nothing personal but you should repent and step down for the position.

Michael Karpf

commented on May 2, 2013

Bill Williams, your response is not argumentative at all. I've seen it done in churches with a multiple pastoral staff where the preaching is shared. In other churches, the senior pastor does most of the preaching. A pastor's job is to equip the saints (Eph 4:10,11) but he is also responsible to preach the word (2 Tim 4:2). This is his primary duty and he does need to be given the time to study and prepare his sermons. There is no excuse for a pastor who does not have time to prepare. The pastor is ultimately, under God, but Paul outlines the structure of church government in 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1. Personally I believe in a plurality of elders with the pastor as one of those elders. Alan Montgomery Hutchens, the story of the pastor you mentioned and his reaction to your letter doesn't seem quite right. Something is strange here. I have heard that before, that if you are without a pulpit, God has rescinded His call of you to ministry. I know because I have been without a steady pulpit for 4 years. It may be possible God has you in a place for a time. My church in Japan only keeps a missionary for a few years. I had no say over that. But I can also tell you, when you find yourself in a position like this, you are fertile ground for the enemy who can shoot his arrows of doubt and despair and make you feel like God is finished with you for good. I know because I am there. As stated before, there is most likely a time of preparation when you will feel like this. Don't believe me? Ask Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Elijah and Paul. I could write a whole book on what I've experienced and learned, but I won't do it here. Like you, I believe that God does not rescind His gifts. I do believe that a man can disqualify himself for the ministry by his conduct and especially acts of immorality. I also find it very unusual that this pastor you mentioned is no longer in the ministry. Why? If you believe you are called to preach, but don't have a pulpit, like Sherman wrote in an earlier article, reevaluate your call. Prepare for rain. Pray and seek God. But I have also seen, and I will give the same advice to anyone seeking a preaching ministry; either find a church that needs a pastor or start one. There is very little solid expository preaching in Bangkok. There is a lot of feel good preaching and the prosperity gospel is rampant. I would love to start a church where the primary focus is on the expository preaching of the word of God. Charles Swindoll's book, The Church Awakening is excellent. And Swindoll writes in his book, Hope Again, that "pastoring a church isn't a religious profession...or a business decision but rather a call of God that links certain shepherds with certain flocks." Tom Nelson, Senior Pastor of Denton Bible Church wrote an excellent article Turn with me Now, on why he preaches expositionally. This is the kind of preaching that needs to be put back into the churches

Michael Karpf

commented on May 2, 2013

Bill Williams, your response is not argumentative at all. I've seen it done in churches with a multiple pastoral staff where the preaching is shared. In other churches, the senior pastor does most of the preaching. A pastor's job is to equip the saints (Eph 4:10,11) but he is also responsible to preach the word (2 Tim 4:2). This is his primary duty and he does need to be given the time to study and prepare his sermons. There is no excuse for a pastor who does not have time to prepare. The pastor is ultimately, under God, but Paul outlines the structure of church government in 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1. Personally I believe in a plurality of elders with the pastor as one of those elders. Alan Montgomery Hutchens, the story of the pastor you mentioned and his reaction to your letter doesn't seem quite right. Something is strange here. I have heard that before, that if you are without a pulpit, God has rescinded His call of you to ministry. I know because I have been without a steady pulpit for 4 years. It may be possible God has you in a place for a time. My church in Japan only keeps a missionary for a few years. I had no say over that. But I can also tell you, when you find yourself in a position like this, you are fertile ground for the enemy who can shoot his arrows of doubt and despair and make you feel like God is finished with you for good. I know because I am there. As stated before, there is most likely a time of preparation when you will feel like this. Don't believe me? Ask Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Elijah and Paul. I could write a whole book on what I've experienced and learned, but I won't do it here. Like you, I believe that God does not rescind His gifts. I do believe that a man can disqualify himself for the ministry by his conduct and especially acts of immorality. I also find it very unusual that this pastor you mentioned is no longer in the ministry. Why? If you believe you are called to preach, but don't have a pulpit, like Sherman wrote in an earlier article, reevaluate your call. Prepare for rain. Pray and seek God. But I have also seen, and I will give the same advice to anyone seeking a preaching ministry; either find a church that needs a pastor or start one. There is very little solid expository preaching in Bangkok. There is a lot of feel good preaching and the prosperity gospel is rampant. I would love to start a church where the primary focus is on the expository preaching of the word of God. Charles Swindoll's book, The Church Awakening is excellent. And Swindoll writes in his book, Hope Again, that "pastoring a church isn't a religious profession...or a business decision but rather a call of God that links certain shepherds with certain flocks." Tom Nelson, Senior Pastor of Denton Bible Church wrote an excellent article Turn with me Now, on why he preaches expositionally. This is the kind of preaching that needs to be put back into the churches

Bill Williams

commented on May 2, 2013

@Michael, I agree that preaching the word is a responsibility of a pastor, but I don't see anything in 2 Timothy 4 to suggest that it is a primary responsibility. Paul tells Timothy to preach the word, and to be ready in season and out of season. But he doesn't say that only Timothy is to preach the word and no one else in the congregation can do so regularly, or that he is to preach the word every week. Also, Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 14 suggest gatherings that are much more participatory than contemporary Christian worship services. It doesn't seem that Paul ever intended for one person to do all, or even the majority, of the preaching in any local congregation. Let me be clear. I am not saying that pastors should not preach. What I am saying is that pastors should not preach so often that there are no opportunities to preach for others in the congregation who have also been called by God to share in that ministry. My original post was to challenge the assertion made by the author that "in many churches there are simply not enough opportunities to preach." With fifty-two weekends a year, I just don't see how that is possible unless you have one person monopolizing the preaching. Or perhaps there is the situation of a large church with dozens or more people who have been called by God to preach, in which I suggested that we could focus on planting many small churches instead of trying to grow one church indefinitely. Obviously, more churches provides more opportunities. Also, I agree that pastors "need to be given the time to study and prepare his sermons." And in fact, if pastors do share the preaching ministry so that they are not preaching every week, the natural result is that they do have more time to study and to prepare their sermons! Can you imagine if you had two or more weeks to study and pray over a text, instead of trying to do it in one week? I believe that the pressure many pastors face, or at least the pastors I have known, to produce an original sermon every single week is--unintentionally--self-inflicted. I don't believe God desires for pastors to face that kind of pressure. As Jethro told Moses: "What you are doing is not good...for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone."

Bill Williams

commented on May 2, 2013

@Michael, finally, in regard to church leadership, I agree with you about leadership roles Paul describes and for which he gives instructions in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. And I suspect we may have much agreement concerning these roles. I like what you wrote: "a plurality of elders with the pastor as one of those elders." That is how our church is structured as well. I think that is Biblical, certainly more Biblical than the modern designations of "Senior Pastor" and "Associate Pastor." But I'd like to clarify some important points for the sake of any who are still following this discussion. First, it is important to note that these roles ARE assumed to be plural. There is not one elder in the congregation, there are several. There is not one deacon in the congregation, there are several. And there is nothing to suggest that anyone of them holds more authority than the others. More significantly, there is nothing to suggest that those in the congregation who hold these roles carry more authority (either individually or collectively) than the rest of the church. These roles are described in terms of caring for God's church, serving, being God's stewards. Christ alone is the head of the church. He alone has authority, and he exercises his authority through the church as a whole. Church leadership is not about authority. It is about self-sacrificing service, in accordance with the example set for us by Jesus. Therefore, these roles described by Paul in these texts cannot be used to justify a hierarchical, top-down leadership model that is used by many contemporary churches. I want to thank you also, like I did Pastor Sandy, for taking the time to consider my thoughts and engage with them in a respectful manner. Have a wonderful day!

Michael Karpf

commented on May 2, 2013

Bill Williams, your response is not argumentative at all. I've seen it done in churches with a multiple pastoral staff where the preaching is shared. In other churches, the senior pastor does most of the preaching. A pastor's job is to equip the saints (Eph 4:10,11) but he is also responsible to preach the word (2 Tim 4:2). This is his primary duty and he does need to be given the time to study and prepare his sermons. There is no excuse for a pastor who does not have time to prepare. The pastor is ultimately, under God, but Paul outlines the structure of church government in 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1. Personally I believe in a plurality of elders with the pastor as one of those elders. Alan Montgomery Hutchens, the story of the pastor you mentioned and his reaction to your letter doesn't seem quite right. Something is strange here. I have heard that before, that if you are without a pulpit, God has rescinded His call of you to ministry. I know because I have been without a steady pulpit for 4 years. It may be possible God has you in a place for a time. My church in Japan only keeps a missionary for a few years. I had no say over that. But I can also tell you, when you find yourself in a position like this, you are fertile ground for the enemy who can shoot his arrows of doubt and despair and make you feel like God is finished with you for good. I know because I am there. As stated before, there is most likely a time of preparation when you will feel like this. Don't believe me? Ask Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Elijah and Paul. I could write a whole book on what I've experienced and learned, but I won't do it here. Like you, I believe that God does not rescind His gifts. I do believe that a man can disqualify himself for the ministry by his conduct and especially acts of immorality. I also find it very unusual that this pastor you mentioned is no longer in the ministry. Why? If you believe you are called to preach, but don't have a pulpit, like Sherman wrote in an earlier article, reevaluate your call. Prepare for rain. Pray and seek God. But I have also seen, and I will give the same advice to anyone seeking a preaching ministry; either find a church that needs a pastor or start one. There is very little solid expository preaching in Bangkok. There is a lot of feel good preaching and the prosperity gospel is rampant. I would love to start a church where the primary focus is on the expository preaching of the word of God. Charles Swindoll's book, The Church Awakening is excellent. And Swindoll writes in his book, Hope Again, that "pastoring a church isn't a religious profession...or a business decision but rather a call of God that links certain shepherds with certain flocks." Tom Nelson, Senior Pastor of Denton Bible Church wrote an excellent article Turn with me Now, on why he preaches expositionally. This is the kind of preaching that needs to be put back into the churches

Michael James Monaghan

commented on May 3, 2013

The internet can be a marvelous tool for the preacher . But another outlet not mentioned could be well thought out 'Tracts' . These could keep the verbally gagged preacher ,ticking over as he practices his preaching skills . Thoughts,feelings, insights , can be jotted down or recorded as they well up from the depths of his being ; and later fashioned into tract size sermons using economy of words for maximum effect for the praise of God the edification of his readers and the fulfillment of the author ?.

Michael Karpf

commented on May 3, 2013

Bill, thank you also for your interraction and being respectable. In Acts 6, the 12 chose 7 men to serve tables, so the ministry of the word would not be neglected. This would seem to imply that this is a priority. In 1 Tim 4:13, Timothy is exhorted to give attention to the reading of scripture, teaching and exhortation. God gifts certain men with the gift of teaching. Nothing new originates with them; only the ability to teach and explain God's word. Not all have this gift. But when a church has a pastor who teaches them the word of God, they are blessed. I guess with the gift of pastor-teacher, it is only understandable why I desire a place to use my gift. To not be able to use it is very frustrating. If you are in a church where your gifts are not being used, you flounder. I can identify with anyone going through this. God's word is the only thing we will take into eternity with us. There is much false teaching being progagated these days. Pastors need to know the Bible and correct doctrine and teach these to his flock. This is only my preference, but if a church has a multiple pastor staff, it does need at least one pastor with the gift of teaching. I am listening to a sermon series by the late Dr. Richard Strauss, on the Pastoral Epistles and he says in 1 Tim 4, that ministering the word of God is a high calling. I agree. There is no higher calling. Bill, why I agree that the church should not be a hierarchical authority structure, 1 Tim and Titus do give the qualifications for overseers. The church also needs to be careful in the selection of overseers and deacons. It is not a popularity contest. It is choosing gifted men to serve in these offices. Paul clearly lists the requirements. I have also discovered that if given any opportunity to serve, you gravitate toward the areas of your giftings and passions. This is really the way it should be. I once served as adult Sunday School teacher at a small church, and the pastor really did not want to preach. I was happy to preach whenever he let me. If a man has the gift of teaching and a passion for preaching, then this is the way God has wired him and this is the kind of ministry he should serve in. God knows this, and those of us desiring a place to preach should continually bring this before Him, and trust Him to open the right doors. I am passionate about ministering God's word because He made me that way! This is probably another topic, but the churches need more Bible expositors. Not someone who can build a mega church, but a pastor who can faithfully expound the word of God to his flock.

Olutayo Fasipe

commented on May 3, 2013

This is the missing link and the cause of many breakaways and resentments in the church. It is pertinent for every worker in the vineyard to identify his/her area and equally imperative to realize that the 'labourers' have never and will never be enough. Having these in mind, we will make great exploits and receive the prize from the Owner of the vineyard. Great post, thanks.

Olutayo Fasipe

commented on May 3, 2013

This is the missing link and the cause of many breakaways and resentments in the church. It is pertinent for every worker in the vineyard to identify his/her area and equally imperative to realize that the 'labourers' have never and will never be enough. Having these in mind, we will make great exploits and receive the prize from the Owner of the vineyard. Great post, thanks.

Olutayo Fasipe

commented on May 3, 2013

This is the missing link and the cause of many breakaways and resentments in the church. It is pertinent for every worker in the vineyard to identify his/her area and equally imperative to realize that the 'labourers' have never and will never be enough. Having these in mind, we will make great exploits and receive the prize from the Owner of the vineyard. Great post, thanks.

Charles Ingwe

commented on May 3, 2013

Brother Bill, sad I have been away from internet for some good time and found much has come on as regards this topic. Hope you will be able to pick this one and trust you may give in your word as well if possible for we need to sharpen one another so as to be stable in our task of pastoral. The aspect of the OT and NT that you touched on is interesting and I wish to state that we all know that the OT is a shadow and the NT has given us the reality. However, I do trust that the only sad part of the shadow is that it has no life but does give the outlines from which the trained ones can even do a deep trace work into getting the real picture. For instance, a lamb without blemish, it is a shadow but showing the exact position of a savior void of blame. Cannan, a land of honey and milk; a shadow of life in the kingdom of peace and aboundance. Melchisedec, no beginning or end; christ no end on beginning. So from all these and many more examples of the shadows we can see that they serve as a partern which only needed eternal life. Referencing 1Tim3:1, the office of bishop, the greek position there of Episkope has a connotation of overseeing. Taking it that we are now all a royal priesthood according to 1 Pet 2:9, it still stands that although even deacons are priests; the issue of separating bishops and deacons is showing the importance of a set leadership order, not for throwing pomp around but for the sake of avoiding anarchy in the house of God. Where there is love, a trace of seniority is not noted but it does not mean that it is not there. I understand this topic from that angle.

Dennis Cocks

commented on May 3, 2013

Hebrews 13:17 "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." The rule of the elder must be acknowledged. The Christian community is not a democracy where the majority rules, nor is it anarchy where every man does whatever pleases him. It is a theocracy over which God rules through elders. This teaching is needed in our day when resentment and rebellion against authority are so commonplace in the world. In the church, this carnal and satanic spirit must not prevail. Those whom God has raised up and gifted to be spiritual leaders must be obeyed. The rule of the elder must be acknowledged.

Bill Williams

commented on May 3, 2013

Glad to see so many interacting with my thoughts. I will try to respond one person at a time...

Bill Williams

commented on May 3, 2013

@Michael, regarding Acts 6, yes, the ministry of the word was a priority for the Apostles. But that ministry was shared among the twelve apostles, not monopolized by one. Also, the division of labor between serving and the ministry of the word does not suggest that one form of ministry was higher, more authoritative, more important, etc., than the other. The ministry of service performed by the deacons was just as important as the ministry of the word performed by the apostles. "But when a church has a pastor who teaches them the word of God, they are blessed." Agreed. But the Scriptures indicate that a church will have various people gifted and called by God to teach and preach, not just one. And when one pastor monopolizes the majority of the preaching and teaching in a church to the exclusion of others whom God has called to preach, that church is NOT blessed. They are being deprived of the other voices God desires to be heard. "I guess with the gift of pastor-teacher, it is only understandable why I desire a place to use my gift. To not be able to use it is very frustrating." You should use your gifts. Please do not interpret anything I've written to indicate I believe otherwise. But others should also be given the opportunity to exercise their gift (see 1 Corinthians 12-14), and the same frustration you feel by not being able to use your gift is the same frustration that many others feel when they belong to a church where "there are simply not enough opportunities to preach" (quoted from the article). There is nothing in the Scriptures to suggest that only one person in a local congregation should have the gift of pastor/teacher, while there is plenty in Scripture to indicate that the norm should be that there be several in the congregation with that gift. "There is much false teaching being progagated these days. Pastors need to know the Bible and correct doctrine and teach these to his flock." This may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to protect a congregation from false doctrine is NOT by teaching them the Bible or correct doctrine. These have their place, to be sure, but the BEST way to to protect a congregation from false doctrine is by teaching them how to study and interpret the Bible for themselves, so that they are not dependent on one person to tell them what is true and what is false. They should be taught to be dependent on the Bible alone to determine what is true and what is false. Over the more than five years since our current pastor arrived at our church, he has spent a large portion of his time teaching us, in small group settings as well as one-on-one, how to study the Bible for ourselves. When preaching, he often tells us, "Don't believe what I say simply because I'm saying it. I don't ever intentionally preach something that I know to be wrong, but I also am not immune to misreading the Bible. Be like the Bereans, and check the Bible for yourselves to make sure what I say is so."

Bill Williams

commented on May 3, 2013

@Michael,"If a church has a multiple pastor staff, it does need at least one pastor with the gift of teaching." My understanding of Ephesians 4 is that Pastor/Teacher is one gift. Every pastor, by definition, should have the gift of teaching. And as I said earlier, Scripture indicates that the norm should be that every church have several with the gift of teaching. "why I agree that the church should not be a hierarchical authority structure, 1 Tim and Titus do give the qualifications for overseers. The church also needs to be careful in the selection of overseers and deacons. It is not a popularity contest. It is choosing gifted men to serve in these offices. Paul clearly lists the requirements." You and I are in agreement here. I would like to note, however, that the belief that "there is no higher calling" than the ministry of the word assumes a hierarchy, so you may want to reconsider those two positions. One of them has to give. You cannot have any calling "higher" than another in a church that does not have a hierarchical authority structure. There is no calling "higher" than another in Christ's church. There is only ONE calling, given to everyone: the call to take up our cross daily and follow Christ. Thank you again for considering my thoughts. May you enjoy God's richest blessings this weekend!

Bill Williams

commented on May 3, 2013

@Charles, I always welcome the opportunity for two brothers in Christ such as yourself and me to sharpen each other! "the issue of separating bishops and deacons is showing the importance of a set leadership order, not for throwing pomp around but for the sake of avoiding anarchy in the house of God." On this point we are agreed. The division of ministry is for the purpose of order in the Church. God is a God of order. However..."Where there is love, a trace of seniority is not noted but it does not mean that it is not there." But a trace of seniority is not only "not noted," it is expressly prohibited by Jesus. Consider again, Mark 10: "You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you." I'm sure you know the context. The disciples are arguing over "seniority." James and John want positions of seniority in Jesus' kingdom, and the disciple are upset that they made the request. Jesus' responds by saying that the principle of "seniority" that was exhibited in the leadership model of the Gentiles was not to be so among them. As further evidence, consider Matthew 23:8-10 " But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ." Notice the terms Christ prohibited them from using: Rabbi, Father, Instructor. These are terms of seniority over another, and Jesus told them not to use these terms. So, not only is a trace of seniority "not noted," it is spoken against by Christ. I look forward to any response you may wish to share. Have a wonderful weekend!

Bill Williams

commented on May 3, 2013

@Dennis, it is a pleasure as always to read your thoughts! "The Christian community is not a democracy where the majority rules, nor is it anarchy where every man does whatever pleases him." On this point we are in complete agreement. "It is a theocracy over which God rules through elders." The Christian community IS a theocracy over which God rules, but he does not rule through elders alone. Let me be clear. I am not speaking out against authority. I do not resent authority, nor do I wish to rebel against it. I believe in authority! But what I believe about authority is that all authority in the Church belongs to Christ alone, and that he exercises that authority through the church as a whole. I have already given an example for this in the council at Jerusalem in Acts 15. No one specific person or even "class" of people presided over the meeting, and yet the whole church reached a consensus. I cannot imagine a contemporary church even attempting this: holding a congregational meeting where no one specific person presides and where a unanimous decision is reached on a highly controversial issue! And yet, we see this happening in Acts. Christ exercised his authority in Acts 15 through the WHOLE church. Could it be that the REASON why there is so much division in the church today is precisely BECAUSE most of our churches are structured after a hierarchical, top-down leadership model? After all, look how often the disciples became divided whenever they began to argue over who was the greatest. And Jesus' response was always the same, "Whoever desires to be first will be the last." Let me give you another example, this one from Matthew 18. The text describes a process by which someone who sins against their brother is confronted: first by the person against whom the sin was committed, next by one or two others for the purpose of serving as witnesses, and finally by the church as a whole. It is only once the guilty brother is brought before the entire church that he can be removed from the fellowship if he remains unrepentant. Now, there is a place for elders (overseers) in this process, and it is to oversee the process. But the elders have no authority apart from the church. We see here two clear example of Christ exercising the authority that belongs to him alone, and doing so through the whole church, not just through the elders. I accept that God places certain people in roles of oversight over a congregation. But the role of oversight does not suggest any idea of higher authority or seniority over the rest of the congregation. Mark 10, Matthew 23, and others demonstrate that. Hebrews 13 must be understood in the context of these texts. Enjoy your weekend, and as always, you will be in my prayers!

Tcharves Firespeaks

commented on May 4, 2013

I have read two articles from Sermon Central by You the first was "Find Places to Preach Without Stealing a Pulpit and Waiting to Preach ( 5 ways to make sure you are prepared) For me there was a lot of frustration at my last church even though I was given many opportunities to preach I just could not come into agreement with the senior pastors doctrine. At my present churc not been as to speak ( not preach) at two men's meetings, to teach one BibleStudy and to act as MC for the Senior ( over 60) group praise and worship. So I think it goes without saying that my goal more opportunities to preach God's wordthe firsfirsand

Michael Karpf

commented on May 5, 2013

Bill, thank you again for being respectful, even if we disagree. I tried posting last night and it wouldn't post. So I'll try again. I recently read that 90 of people go to a church because of the preacher. If I were to visit Stonebriar Community Church, it would be to hear Chuck Swindoll preach and I would be disappointed if he wasn't preaching. That doesn't justify it, but it's the way it is. I found that at most of the bigger, established churches, the pastor doesn't want to give the pulpit to someone else. I was able to serve at a small church in West Dallas, where I either preached or taught the adult Sunday school class every week. But I know the frustration, at not being able to preach. Over the past year, living in Bangkok, I have noticed the lack of solid expository preaching. It is mostly feel good preaching. The prosperity gospel is rampant here. People don't want to hear a pastor preach through a book of the Bible. That is unfortunate, but I believe it is a prediction of what Paul wrote to Timothy (1 Tim 4:1-5). But a church needs to be built on solid Bible exposition. I see a lot of pastors here who love God and are very zealous for the ministry, but they lack the theological and biblical education. Without solid, expositional preaching, the church will implode. I hear a lot of topical sermons, which, while practical, are not built on solid exegesis. It doesn't matter what the passage means to you, it matters what the author meant when he wrote it. The gift of teaching is the gift to explain the Bible. Not all men have this gift. But the church that has a pastor with this gift is blessed. No new revelation comes from the pastor with this gift; only solid exposition of the text. Bill, I still place primary importance on the exposition of God's word, and the church needs to recognize men who feel called to preach and have this gift. I encourage anyone lacking opportunities to preach to be faithful, pray and seek God's will, and trust Him to provide opportunities. I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but each of us need to serve God with the gifts and passions He has given us. They are to serve and edify the body of Christ not ourselves. This article is a very timely encouragement to me and others seeking to serve God through preaching.

Bill Williams

commented on May 5, 2013

@Michael, I thank you for your response, although I would like it if you could be a bit more specific as to what it is exactly that you disagree with me, and why. I think I did a pretty good job of laying out a Biblical case for my positions, but if there's something I'm missing, it would be great if you could let me know so that I can consider any further evidence. Perhaps in your next post. For the moment, allow me to respond to some of your latest comments. "If I were to visit Stonebriar Community Church, it would be to hear Chuck Swindoll preach and I would be disappointed if he wasn't preaching. That doesn't justify it, but it's the way it is." I understand that, but just accepting "the way it is" is not acceptable. I'm sure you as a pastor realize that. If "the way it is" is not the way it SHOULD be (and I demonstrated from the Bible that it isn't, and no one has shown me otherwise from the Bible), then it is the responsibility of those who are leaders in the church to work to change "the way it is." Being disappointed that one did not get to hear a certain preacher at a certain church is understandable, BUT it is also symptomatic that we have placed more value on the human vessel by which God's word is proclaimed, rather than on God's word itself. Chuck Swindoll is an excellent, gifted preacher. But if I am not satisfied receiving God's word from another in the congregation who has been equally gifted and called by God, then I am demonstrating that I am operating by the flesh, and not by the Spirit, who distributes gifts to anyone he chooses. "The gift of teaching is the gift to explain the Bible. Not all men have this gift. But the church that has a pastor with this gift is blessed." I agree that not all have the gift of teaching. But it seems clear from Scripture that EVERY church will have several who do. And any congregation that does not have several (or at least more than one!) among them with the teaching gift needs to recognize that there is something wrong there that needs to be addressed. Perhaps they could start by questioning "the way it is," challenging the assumption that the pastor has the prerogative to do the majority of the preaching, asking why we have allowed the preaching ministry to become "professionalized." I agree absolutely that training is vitally important for those who preach. But this training does not necessarily have to be thousands of dollars and several years invested in a seminary degree. This training can be done, and SHOULD be done, by the pastor in the setting of the local congregation. That is how I was trained. And although I may not have all of the expertise that our pastor has, I have been trained to interpret the Bible responsibly enough to be able to preach God's word whenever I am called to do so. "I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but each of us need to serve God with the gifts and passions He has given us." I agree with that as well, and I'm not sure why you think anyone would disagree. Certainly, nothing I've written, and nothing I've seen posted on this thread, could be taken to disagree with what you wrote! "This article is a very timely encouragement to me and others seeking to serve God through preaching." I agree, this is an excellent article. My comments have not been for the purpose of critiquing the article as a whole, but simply to challenge the assumptions behind one of the assertions that was made. Again, thank you very much for taking the time to consider my thoughts. I suspect we actually agree on more than you may think we do, but like I said, if you would like to be more specific on what exactly you disagree with me, I would be more than happy to respond. Have a wonderful day!

Michael Karpf

commented on May 5, 2013

Bill, thank you for your response. I have reread the entire article and all comments just to make sure I'm not missing anything. I think you are right that we do agree on most nearly everything written here. One good result of my coming to Bangkok is getting to see different ways ministry is done. Not everyone does it the same way we were taught at Dallas Theological Seminary. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are one body with different gifts. When they all work together in harmony it is wonderful. When they don't...let's not go there. I think that what I have shared is based on my gifts and passions. I do agree with you in plurality of elders and deacons. I attend a Southern Baptist church here in Bangkok. There is a board of deacons but no elders, just one pastor. I am not sure what this kind of church government is based on, although we are also congregational, and the church does vote on issues. I have been invited by a friend to teach on the pastoral epistles at Calvary Chapel Training Center. I will do my exegesis on these books before teaching it. I do hope that my comments were not intended to offend you (and I apologize if they did). I think we do agree on most everything written here. My initial response to this article was because I can identify with anyone who feels called to preach, but doesn't have the opportunities to do so. To make it even more difficult, when God is not giving me opportunities to use my gifts has made me often believe He has put me on the shelf permanently. I can empathize with anyone in this situation. I attended a church in Dallas which was founded on adhering to the model of the church as set forth in the NT. The office of pastor is occupied by the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a board of elders and deacons who serve. As a matter of fact they do not even consider the morning services a church service. They give it the title, Ministry of the Word, in which an elder gives the message, usually expositional, teaching through a book of the Bible. Their evening service, The Meeting of the Church is unstructured and they do not bring in gifted men to preach. It is superintended by the Holy Spirit, and anyone can share. They also serve the Lord's Supper every Sunday. They believe this is the correct New Testament model of the church. I do agree with you in that the church should meet, not just to hear one preacher, and the preaching duties should be shared. I think a lot of pastors don't want to share the preaching is because of insecurity. But I still think a pastor does need to be one who can teach and expound the word of God, based on careful exegesis, not just what it means to him. Teaching is my spiritual gift (and others have confirmed it), and I am very thankful for the training I got at Dallas Theological Seminary. I have been exposed to much false teaching here. I understand that not all pastors have the opportunity to go to seminary. There are organizations, one started by a former pastor, to go to third world countries and teach pastors Bible and theology. Bill, I do appreciate your interraction, and just so you know, if I get a preaching ministry, I do want to help others called to preach develop their gifts. I'm 63 and so I will need someone to come after me!

Michael Karpf

commented on May 5, 2013

I would like to share something else. Even though my gift is teaching, I cannot just stand up and start expounding the word. I might be able to do it if called on to preach at the last minute, and I will usually preach on a passage I have preached on before. But to get up and expound the word without taking the time to do my exegesis is not an option. I spend approximately 10 hours, translating the text from Greek or Hebrew, doing grammatical and syntactical analysis, word studies, and text-critical problems etc., all to derive what the author meant when he wrote it. I will consult several commentaries to shed light on my exegesis, also to see if I am off. This is very slow and tedious work, but I love doing it! My next step is to apply the text to my own life, and then work on effectively communicating it to my listeners, helping them to be hearers and doers of the word (James 1:21-25). This is not being done in many churches. The prosperity gospel that tickles the ears of so many is not based on solid exegesis. People need to be taught the word of God. They also need to be trained in discerning truth from error. James 3:1 is a very solemn warning to anyone who feels called to preach. I will eventually have to answer to God, so I have the responsibility of exegeting my passage to understand the author's intended meaning. This is something I have been more and more convicted during this time of waiting for an opportunity to preach.

Bill Williams

commented on May 6, 2013

@Michael, let me finish by saying that I agree basically with your latest two posts; and like I said, I think we are in agreement over mostly everything we've discussed. That's why I asked you to be specific as to what you believed we disagreed on, because I didn't really see where anything you were saying disagreed with what I was saying. My comments were not to contradict yours, but to elaborate on yours and, hopefully, to provide some balance as well. Same thing with the article. I mentioned repeatedly that it was an excellent article and that I agreed with the principle idea, that one should not think of the preaching ministry as something that can only be exercised in the context of the church worship service, and to be open to exercising that gift in other settings as well. The only thing I disagreed with article--and that a minor point--was the assertion that sometimes there were not enough opportunities to preach inside the local church, and I demonstrated from the Bible why I believed that is not so. The only thing I disagreed with what you wrote--and again, it was a minor point--was the assertion that the "Senior Pastor" has to prerogative to be the only one to preach; and again I demonstrated from the Bible why I believe that is not so. But the essence of what you wrote in your latest two posts, I am in complete agreement. It's been a pleasure discussing this with you. Have a great week, and I will keep your ministry in my prayers!

Michael Karpf

commented on May 6, 2013

Bill, thank you for your encouraging words and I have appreciated the opportunity to interract with you as well on this. Every week, I get articles from Sermon Central which have helped me immensely in preaching. I also signed The Preacher's Pledge to make the Bible the primary source in my preaching. God bless you as you serve the Lord as well.

Join the discussion