Warren Throckmorton posted a transcript of a mega-pastor who explained to his church why he would not be with them personally at almost every weekend service. Instead he will preach on stage the first weekend service and then the remaining services on Saturday and Sunday will feature a video of that sermon. Here are some excerpts from the transcript:
1) “I’m doing other things, like right now I have a book deadline. I preached last week, during the week on video for them to show to the largest church in America, which is Pastor Craig Groeschel Life Church. They have about 72,000 in attendance each week. … And this past Thursday was a conference call with Dr. Tony Evans and Dr. Ronnie Floyd who’s the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. And we’re talking about bringing pastors together, I think I’ve told you this, to bring pastors together next July to have a solemn assembly where we meet in Cowboy Stadium. We’re asking 75,000 pastors to come together to pray for our nation.”
Translation – I’m way too important, busy and in demand to spend my time and energy here with you in person for worship services at the church where I’m the senior pastor.
2) “And so I wanted you to know if you don’t see me live as much as you used to it’s not because I love you less. I want you to know that. It’s because I love you more.”
Translation – It’s not you, it’s me.
Perhaps this writer/speaker does not consider himself a pastor to the people of his church. Perhaps he sees himself limited to preaching. If so, and the rest of the folks don’t mind, then have at it. The church’s web page describes him as the senior pastor, though, so they might want to change that.
That is, unless they want to tell him to stick closer to the people he’s supposed to be pastoring. Because pastors are supposed to be about Jesus and the people in their churches. They are not to be like the people Jesus warned his friends not to emulate:
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45.)
It’s fine to be a great writer and speaker of God’s truth. I’ve been blessed more times than I can count by people who use their gifts that way. But please don’t take on a pastoral position and then say that leaving your congregation to pursue these things is an expression of your growing love for them. How do you love people you don’t spend time with?
Is preaching six services going to take a toll on your body, as this pastor says it has? Absolutely. But you can always let other people preach so you can sit with the congregation. Seriously, if you think you’re the only one who can preach effectively then you need to reacquaint yourself with the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your preaching.
I’m really not meaning to tell that particular church what to do. If they want to let him be their pastor in name only, that’s their business. But I hope this is not a practice most churches would follow.
There’s little danger of that, though. After all, 99% of the pastors in this world will never be invited by the people whose names this pastor dropped to join them on stage to speak to 75,000 people. Those 99% are busy pastoring almost the entire body of Christ by the power of the Spirit anyway.