I just completed my yearly Clergy Appointment form. As I have done for the past several years I said “No Thank You” to being appointed to a local church.
Answering that question about pastoring a local church got me thinking about how much professional ministry has changed over the past 30+ years. It is completely different. Someone recently said that it’s as if we (pastors) are playing baseball and suddenly realize that everyone else is playing basketball.
Let me give you an example. In the past, sermons were all about “telling” and “giving answers”. In many ways it was a one-way conversation: Pastor to people. Many mimic the TV sitcom that nice and neatly wrap things up in 30 minutes or less.
Today, in many churches, they aren’t even called sermons anymore. Instead, they are two-way conversations that invite and engage us with the scriptures, God, and one another. Often we are left with more questions than when we started. The sermon is more a call to action, than a delivery of answers.
Hmm…..preaching, like coaching, is about asking questions and inviting action. A coaching approach to ministry develops the skill and competency needed for today’s pastor.
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