A Friday Question – Pastoral Preaching?April 6, 2007
An interesting issue raised by Tim Keller’s interview was the relationship between pastoral care and preaching. Keller suggested that preachers should prepare themselves for the sermons not only by studying the text but by being with their people. I totally agree.
However, I can personally say I’ve witnessed extremes with this. On the one hand, the pastor who is a virtual recluse, a stranger to his people who only appears for the duration of the sermon. Or, equally common, the pastor so immersed in people-work that his preparation is merely ‘squeezed in’ around other more important matters.
Another factor impinging on the dynamic is what kind of staff team is in place. For example, In the pastoral team of which I’m part, some of us major more on preaching than, say, pastoral visitation (though the former is not neglected). Others major more on pastoral care, but preach on some occasions.
In light of all this, I’ve got a few questions to throw out:
1) Can pastors preach effectively without their giving significant attention to pastoral care?
2) Practically, how do you pastors divide time given to pastoral care and preaching?
3) To what extent can a team ministry legitimately affect this (eg. John Piper is the Preaching Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church)?
(ps. the handsome man pictured above is a pastoral colleague of mine, Rev Rodney Stout. Rodney currently heads up Pastoral Care in our fellowship)