It is good when I don’t preach. It is for me. It is good for you. It is good…
Because we do not worship a man, but the God-man, Jesus Christ. He is the head of the church. Jesus is our senior pastor. Hearing from other voices on Sunday morning reminds us that we’re not following a personality, but the person of Christ.
Because I need to remember that one day I will not be your pastor. The more I can remember this and the more you can experience this, the healthier we will be as a church.
Because I grow when I hear God’s word from others. It is true that studying the word and preaching the word does much for your own spiritual growth. So does receiving the word from others.
Because I’m limited. I’m a man of limited intelligence (insert joke here). I’m limited in my ability to communicate. I’m limited in my ability to see. I’m not perfect. I’m not the final word or even the best word. It’s good to hear and learn from other voices.
Because God’s people are primarily receivers, not givers. Our faith is predicated on the gift of God, not our gifts to God. Every second of every day we receive God’s grace and mercy. Like a needy child, it’s good for me to come on Sunday morning to receive.
Because we all are tempted to think our value and worth comes from what we produce and accomplish. One day we (I) will cease from both. As we prepare for that season it’s actually good to produce and accomplish little, or nothing, and remember Christ has already accomplished everything on our behalf. It is good to learn to rest in His finished work.
Because there are times I function as if I’m in control. It’s good to be reminded I’m not. Coming on Sunday to simply sit and listen and not to be heard is good for me.
Because it is good to decrease. It is good not to be seen or heard. It is good to sit in the second row, middle row, or back row and disappear. Life, church, and ministry is not about us. It’s good to be reminded that there will be a time we set aside our tools of the trade at the feet of Jesus and just worship him. Not preaching, not being heard, and not being seen is good practice for pastors that typically like to be seen and heard.
Because your pastor is not your savior. Pastors do not ride white horses. Pastors are not the final answer to your problems. Pastors are not spiritual heart surgeons with the ability to change, alter, or cure your spiritual condition. Pastors cannot change our affections. Yes, pastors are used by God, but pastors are not God. This should go without saying. It should go without saying, but it needs to be said. For your sake, but mostly for mine.
If you weren’t able to make it yesterday, please listen to the podcast. (http://renbible.org/sermon/john-18-name-doesnt-ring-a-bell/) I didn’t preach. And it was very good.