Sunday, April 12, 2015
“The backslider likes the preaching that wouldn't hit the side of a house, while the real disciple is delighted when the truth brings him to his knees.” ― Billy Sunday
Today in American mainline denomination churches is unofficially “associate pastor Sunday” because the senior pastor preached on Easter (the big Sunday) so the associate or guest pastor gets the one after Easter which is traditionally one of the smallest crowds of the year. What is sad is that so many people miss what are some of the best sermons ever preached. Now, not every pastor is a great preacher, and that goes for associates, too, but many of those unsung heroes of the bigger churches can really preach. If you are a senior pastor whose own preaching is not quite up to Billy Sunday standards, you can be a bit jealous of an associate who can really preach. I know of several big churches where the attendance swells when an associate preaches which also means that associate won’t last long at that church. The last thing a senior pastor wants to hear is “When will the associate be preaching again?” My point is that you should make it a point to attend the Sunday after Easter because in most cases you will hear some really great preaching. If it’s too good, you will be saying goodbye to that associate soon. It’s just human nature and most of those associates go on to become great senior pastors and great preachers. Some senior pastors only want to surround themselves with decidedly inferior associates (and there are many from which to choose) to make themselves look better. Again, that’s just human nature although it is a bit sad to see it in clergy. This is not the rule in the most of the megachurches where the senior pastor is more of an administrator and who looks for great preachers as there are too many services from Saturday night to Sunday night for one person to prepare and deliver quality preaching. Those churches tend to grow like wildfire. Of course the most sobering statistic and one most preachers wish wasn’t true is that over two-thirds of new members come to a church because a member invited them. Almost 25% come because of the church building (this is according to research done by Barna), and the real crusher is that less than 6% of new members come because of the preacher. Today’s message from me is that there is a lot of good preaching going on today, but if you really love your church and want it to grow, invite someone to go with you. That’s what works.