In 20 years, my wife and I have preached about 950 sermons from the pulpit of Park Road Baptist Church. (Amy and I have been co-pastors in Charlotte since 2000.) We’re both manuscript preachers, and we try to hold a…
Imagine a prominent white Baptist pastor taking to cable news to make a case for Joe Biden and then appearing at rallies to campaign for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. All hell would break loose. And that pastor would soon…
Preachers must not avoid preaching about the pain of the COVID-19 crisis, according to a prominent Baptist pastor who serves in New York City, one of the hardest-hit areas of the nation.
My fear today is that the gospel being preached from Baptist pulpits is all too often an appeal to self-interest rather than to conscience. When the gospel of God’s grace comes home to the human heart, it does not appeal to our self-interests but rather to our sense of sin.
What if preachers quit trying to be clever or to control outcomes and instead simply led with sincere vulnerability? It would require trusting the congregation to receive you with kindness and, for your part, a self-compassion for your own tenderness.
In the aftermath of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, I read and heard exhortations along these lines: “If your pastor does not call out white supremacy and gun violence tomorrow in worship, it’s time to find another church.” Please, can we stop doing this?
I believe in the power of the Gospel. I believe Jesus changes hearts, and that his calling is a daring summons to a truly social justice – to a salvation that changes our minds as well as our souls. But much of the preaching I hear these days makes me cringe.
Congregations have a right to expect their pastor to be real while also respecting appropriate boundaries. In turn, pastors have a right to embrace their humanity and for their churches to remember that the Word became flesh, not marble.
Many of President Trump’s actions are antithetical to the Gospel. But anger cannot be everything that Trump’s backers hear from us. Ministers would be better off, at times, asking the Spirit to help the president and his defenders understand that God loves all people.