I’ve been told that every good blog needs a guest blogger now and then. Fortunately, I’ve been able to convince a long time friend, the Reverend Ulysses Giblet, to contribute to my page. Here’s some of his thoughts on preaching.
When James asked me if I’d write something for his blog, I was happy to help. I decided I should write a short article on a topic that James knows nothing about – preaching.
Why Church Leaders Need to Be Good Preachers:
There are many qualities that are desirable in church leaders, such as punctuality, good personal hygiene and great hair & teeth, but the most important quality for a church leader is the ability to crank out top quality sermons on demand. Here are three reasons why this is the case:
A good Sunday will make people forget about what you did on Monday to Saturday.
We’ve all had a bad week at some time. Perhaps we chose our words poorly during a difficult church meeting. Maybe we punched someone in the face during a complicated pastoral situation. What if people are asking tricky questions about why that money from the building fund is resting in your personal bank account? We’ve all been there – I know that I have. Thankfully, when you’re a good preacher, Sunday morning becomes an opportunity to remind people why they employed you. If you can milk a few tears out of the congregation when preaching then they’ll be more than happy to overlook your minor failings, such as being unapproachable, pastorally insensitive and morally bankrupt.
If you’re anything like me, then you went into the ministry because it involves no heavy lifting and presents fantastic money making opportunities for the right people. If you want to make the big bucks you need to find your way into one of the top tier churches – you know, those mega churches where the congregation is big enough to comfortably employ fifteen full-time members of staff. Some churches also have such distinguished historic reputations that they’re full of rich people (who love all that stuff). All the best (i.e. richest) churches have one thing in common – they love excellent preachers. That’s what they’re looking for in their ministers, so put a bit of effort into improving your preaching and wait for the lucrative job offers to come rolling in. It’s even better in America, where an English accent can be worth as much as an extra $10,000 a year. Money for old rope!
You only have to be visible one day a week.
If you’re an excellent preacher, in a church with a reputation for excellent preaching, then people are happy for you to ‘delegate’ most of the work of the church to others while you focus on the truly important job of preparing for Sunday’s sermon. In fact, they’ll probably insist on it. Here’s a line that you might want to memorise – “I’m sorry, I can’t come and help you with that difficult situation, because Mondays through to Thursdays are my sermon preparation days”. Fantastic. As added good news, the more experience you have, the quicker you can prepare sermons. After a while, you’ll be done by Monday afternoon and have the rest of your ‘sermon preparation’ days for important spiritual tasks, like sleeping in, eating chocolate and binge watching TV.
Hopefully you can now see why, if you’re in church leadership, developing your preaching ability should be your number one priority.
Rev. Ulysses Giblet.