16.9.09

Pastor Envy

I'm so grateful for the wealth of free sermons and conference messages available online these days. On a good week, my MP3 player holds hours of these to be listened to while I'm at work or driving. I've grown familiar with the teaching style and voices of certain pastors - MacArthur, Piper, Mahaney, Harris, to name a few. I am always challenged to understand more about God, to live a more faithful Christian life when I hear these men proclaiming the Word.

That's a good thing. But.

Over the past while, I've recognized a growing discontent when I'm sitting in church Sunday morning, listening to my own pastor. He is faithful to God's Word, he preaches the truth with love and concern. But, I sometimes think - I wish he preached with John Piper's passion. He doesn't go as deep into Scripture as John MacArthur. If only...

I've sensed that my Sunday-morning thoughts and attitudes were not right in some sense, and when I came across a post on Tim Challies blog that confronted this very issue, I was convicted. Challies notes,

Christians today have access (via the Internet, of course) to vast libraries of the best sermons by the best preachers... They are men who are extraordinarily gifted by God and who have been faithful to use their gifts for his glory...

The fact is, God has put us in churches with less-than-perfect and often less-than-brilliant pastors. The fact that there are extraordinary preachers tells us that there must be vast numbers of perfectly ordinary pastors. This means that most of us have been blessed by God with a very ordinary kind of pastor...

These men, these ordinary pastors, are the ones to whom we owe our loyalty. They are the ones to whom Paul refers when he tells the church at Thessalonicato respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.” These are the men God has given to serve you and to labor as pastors before you. It is through these men that God means to specially bless you in that unique body called the local church...

(Read Challies entire post here)


Like Challies, I agree that having access to great teaching online is a good thing. I'll continue to download and listen and benefit from the ministry of "extraordinary pastors". But at the same time, I want to be especially grateful for the unique pastor that God has placed in the church I attend.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Lord has blessed me with a pastor who does exposit the Word deeply and thoroughly each time he opens it, but I so often take that for granted. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful.

The other tendency, of course, is to look at other pastors in comparison with the one under whose teaching and example I sit. Ugly condescending pride. Ouch.

1 Corinthians 1:12-13, "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, 'I am of Paul'; and 'I of Apollos'; and 'I of Cephas'; and 'I of Christ'. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"

David

E03 said...

yikes. this is me, too. thanks for this. e03

Derrick said...

Wow. There is no question the Holy Spirit led me to this site and this post. Thank you SO much!

Blessings, Grace & Peace,
Derrick