Who’s Preaching?

The Western style of gathering the Church into congregations has a pulpit as the center of activity. Modern versions have, in some cases, replaced the pulpit with a stool and table, but the activity is the same: monolog from a preacher is the main event during meetings.

Most denominations approve of the existence of pastors, teachers, and evangelists. Other ministries, like apostle or prophet or miracles, are a little too weird to allow airtime. If we only pick on the  three popular gifts, having the wrong one in the pulpit can be boring or annoying. A pastor isn’t a teacher. If we make one come up with a sermon at least once a week, it is likely to be sad. Magazines and websites with sermons you can download and read to the congregation are made for these people.

An evangelist is sometimes thrust into the only leadership job in the congregation. This is likely to become tiresome quickly, too. Some denominations teach their people that they need to come back to the altar again and really get saved again this week, so an evangelist in leadership there would be appropriate, I guess. To have an evangelist trying to lead a congregation into discipleship or deeper truths isn’t going to go far, though.

Suppose we looked at Acts and some letters in the New Testament for clues about how to gather. There, a meal is the center. There, pastors comfort the sheep. Teachers teach them. Evangelists are hanging out with unbelievers inviting them to Jesus. Apostles get big pictures to lead with and prophets get timing and correction revelation to lead with.

Paul wrote to Ephesus that those leadership gifts would be in place to equip the Church to do ministry. He wrote that they would be doing that until we all come into unity in the faith and the knowledge of Jesus, and are mature in the same stature as Him. We aren’t there, yet. We still need all of that, in the person of many people. The pitiful one-man-show will be history when we let it be.

Read about that and be blessed: Ephesians 4