Ran­dom ob­ser­va­tions about preach­ers

The Catoosa County News - - WORSHIP DIRECTORY - Bo Wag­ner

I have been preach­ing since I was twelve years old, and a bit of quick math tells me that, at forty-seven years old, that makes for thirty-five years. This is to say, that, I have been around preach­ers for a very long time. Per­haps it is be­cause of the stress of the min­istry, but my take is that preach­ers can and of­ten are some of the (to quote the South­ern col­lo­qui­al­ism) squir­re­li­est peo­ple around.

Here, for your en­joy­ment (and your prayer list) are some of my ob­ser­va­tions on preach­ers.

One: Many preach­ers do an amaz­ing job of study­ing, prepar­ing, and pre­sent­ing ac­cu­rate, solid, well thought-out Bib­li­cal mes­sages. Oth­ers twist the Bible so badly that it ap­pears to be do­ing ex­treme yoga, mi­nus the stretchy pants.

Two: A preacher is a per­son with the very dif­fi­cult task of stand­ing in front of peo­ple all the time and talk­ing while ev­ery­one else lis­tens, be­ing heard and be­ing seen, while be­ing tasked with not hav­ing peo­ple no­tice him, but in­stead hav­ing ev­ery­one no­tice the one of whom he is speak­ing, whom they can­not see with their eyes or hear with their ears.

Three: Preach­ers love to talk to peo­ple. Un­less it is two min­utes un­til ser­vice starts. If it is two min­utes un­til ser­vice, it would be best not to speak to him un­less the build­ing is on fire. Nor­mally, though, that two minute win­dow right be­fore he has to start ser­vice is the ex­act time the devil whips Cle­tus and Lur­lene into a frenzy de­mand­ing that the preacher speak to them im­me­di­ately about how other chil­dren are (sup­pos­edly) mis­treat­ing lit­tle Lulu.

Four: The min­istry has such high highs and such low lows in such near prox­im­ity to each other that the term “roller coaster” is not dra­matic enough to de­scribe it. So, if you hap­pen to ever hear a preacher hum­ming “You Can Take This Job and Shove It,” do not panic. In fif­teen min­utes he will prob­a­bly be hum­ming “Vic­tory In Je­sus.”

Five: Ev­ery preacher I have ever known has had to deal with some­one go­ing to the hospi­tal for an emer­gency or for a surgery and not telling him, then blow­ing up at him for not com­ing to the emer­gency or surgery that he did not know about. Preach­ers do not have ESP. If they did, they would vote against many peo­ple’s re­quest for mem­ber­ship be­fore they ever get the chance to do some­thing that ridicu­lous.

Six: Ev­ery preacher I have ever known has had to deal with peo­ple who are al­ways full of life and vi­tal­ity Mon­day through Fri­day for work, and also for play on Satur­day, yet some­how sick ev­ery sin­gle Sun­day. They al­ways say the same thing: “I am pray­ing for you.” What they do not do is tell them how they are pray­ing, which likely in­cludes the words “hem­or­rhoids” or “poi­son ivy.”

Seven: It is a myth that ev­ery preacher types out a res­ig­na­tion let­ter ev­ery Mon­day morn­ing. Those in sit­u­a­tions that bad would never wait that long; they do it ev­ery Sun­day even­ing right af­ter ser­vice be­fore they start hit­ting the Maalox.

Eight: Some preach­ers are faith­ful and sta­ble. Oth­ers bounce from church to church so of­ten that, no mat­ter their ac­tual name, I call them “Rev­erend Mcbo­ing­bo­ing.”

Nine: An old preacher still in the min­istry is a glorious thing. It is a sign that some­one had enough com­po­sure to go for decades and decades with­out killing any­one who des­per­ately needed it, or at least was su­perb at hid­ing the bod­ies.

Ten: I am blessed be­yond mea­sure as a pas­tor. I say this in all sin­cer­ity; my church fam­ily is amaz­ing, and they make me glad to serve them. But I have learned that the great­est joys of the min­istry are re­served for those who dig in at one place and stay faith­ful for many years. If I had bailed out in the first five years, I would have missed the in­com­pa­ra­ble heav­enly bless­ings that did not come till years eigh­teen, nine­teen, and be­yond.

One of the short­est verses in the Bible sums it up. In 1 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 5:25, Paul said these four words: “Brethren, pray for us.”

Your pas­tor needs it, ev­ery sin­gle day.

Bo Wag­ner is pas­tor of Corner­stone Bap­tist Church in Moores­boro, N.C. He is a widely trav­eled evan­ge­list and the au­thor of sev­eral books. He can be con­tacted by email at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

Evan­ge­list and au­thor

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