Preach Jesus

Ephesians 5:1-9

Another preacher asked me if I remembered what I told him the first time we met. I didn’t. At the time, he was still fairly new to pastoral ministry and was preparing for a new appointment. I was almost scared to ask what I said. He assured me it was a good thing. I told him to preach Jesus.

Whew! I can live with that.

I’m glad their are finance people and trustee people in the church. You don’t want me running those kinds of things. There are better organizers and project managers throughout every congregation as well. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Churches don’t need more CEO types. We need faithful shepherds.

Pastors who do too much of all the other stuff tend to do one of several things along the way.

They might burn themselves out. They could also burnout other people. They can steal ministry from the flock. They can let their burnout set in and create animosity amongst themselves and the church. Even more, they can lose sight of what every congregation needs most: Jesus. We can fill the holy spaces God’s given us to lead with empty words.

I’m not sure if I told that preacher this, but when I say preach Jesus, I mean it. Preach Jesus in every facet that we know him. He was gentle and compassionate. And there’s much we need to learn about that for our lives and shared ministry. But he was also prophetic. There are things we need to hear Jesus saying that we often prefer to ignore. Yes, Jesus gave his life up for us in sacrifice, but he also flipped tables. He healed, fed and restored people. He ate with sinners and was willing to confront the religious hypocrisy of those who wouldn’t.

And to be a full follower of Jesus, that’s the full Jesus we need to hear.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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