Former pastor Rob Bell says that he has enjoyed his time away from pastoral ministry because he can preach freely without the burden of “running a church” getting in the way. Bell notes that too many pastors use their sermons to get bigger crowds and buildings, telling people what they want to hear rather than using a sermon for holy disruption.
Why this matters for church leaders:
Bell’s comments remind us about the ideals for pastors and ministry and the ways those ideals conflict with the day to day demands of running a church.
- What is a pastor’s role? For many pastors, especially those in 200-300 member congregations, there’s pressure to do it all. Bell notes that even at a large church he felt pressure to maintain the organization rather than focus on preaching and ministering to individuals.
- The pressures preacher’s face: Bell notes that some pastors tame their sermons in order to attract more people. Should sermons be more disruptive?
- Where does ministry happen? Does Bell have a point that running a “ministry” gets in the way of actually ministering?
What gets in the way of your preaching and discipleship? Can you make changes to give yourself greater freedom?
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