Tag Archives: preaching

Disdain for Preachers and Preaching

“Much of the emergent disdain for preachers is really an uneasiness about authority and control. Discussion, yes. Dialogue, yes. Group discernment, yes. Heralding? Proclamation? Not on this side of modernism. But is it really modernism we are rejecting or something weightier? The decline in preaching goes hand in hand with a lost confidence in the importance of truth claims. Preaching presupposes there is a message that must be proclaimed and believed. The very act of verbal proclamation by one man to God’s people assumes that there is a word from God that can be ascertained, understood, and meaningfully communicated. This is what is being objected to in preaching, not simply the specter of modernism.

I find it disconcerting that Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz is supposed to be the new model for leadership. ‘Rather than being a person with all the answers, who is constantly informed of what’s up and what’s what and where to go, she is herself lost, a seeker, vulnerable, often bewildered,’ writes McLaren. ‘These characteristics would disqualify her from modern leadership. But they serve as her best credentials for leadership in the emergent culture.’ In the emergent church, pastors should move from broadcaster to listener. From warrior-salesman to dancer. From problem solver to quest inspirer. From knower to seeker.

No doubt, there are times when the pastor is facilitator and fellow seeker. But there are also times – every Sunday, in fact – when he must be a herald. And as he ministers among God’s people, he should be able to say, by the grace of God, ‘Follow me as I follow Christ’ (1 Cor. 11:1). It sounds humble when Pagitt says he doesn’t want to be his people’s pace car. But aren’t overseers supposed to be above reproach (Titus 1:6), able to instruct in sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict it (1:9), and in all respects a model of good works (2:7)?”

– Kevin DeYoung, Why We’re Not Emergent (pp. 159-160)