The Diary of a (Ministerial) Nobody: Part 1
A few years ago when read the reflections of a well-known preacher I came across a comment he made on his Ministerial colleagues. He said that whilst he was always glad to ‘see the faces’ of his colleagues either in his own church or at Minister’s Conferences he ‘got very little from their preaching’. This preacher is a frequent speaker at both Ministers’ Conferences and Christian gatherings.
His comments caused me to reflect on what qualities a preacher needs in order for others to ‘get something from’ him, so much so that he is invited to speak at conferences etc. Does he need to have the right connections perhaps, such as a father or grandfather who was a minister or perhaps a good friend in the Ministry? Does he need to be foreign, maybe American or even Scottish! Would it help if he is Presbyterian or Anglican rather than Baptist or Independent? Does he need to be the Minister of a large congregation and if so why is that in itself a qualifying criterion? What if he is the Minister of a city church south of the M4 rather than of a church in the Valleys of South Wales, would that do it?
In the early days of my time as Pastor there was an elderly and rather crusty member of the congregation who referred to the Elders and Deacons, rather unfairly I thought, as ‘a self-perpetuating entity’, tightly controlling who was allowed to enter their ranks. This phrase comes to mind when thinking about this subject. The same names appear as speakers at conferences year after year. Strange when you think of how many Ministers there must be spread across the Church, ministering to fellow believers week after week, sustaining the hope and faith of all concerned. But then I guess that is where the real work is done, where solid lives of faith and witness are being built up in a chaotic world, not by attending ‘big name’ conferences, by the ministerial efforts of men who might never grace a conference as the main speaker but whose efforts redound to the glory of God and the good of His people.