Let’s Be Honest
This post is influenced from Pastor Judah Smith’s amazing and very blunt series on “I Wish More Pastors Would…”. If you have not heard the podcasts, I strongly recommend the raw sermons from the words of a vulnerable heart. Pastor Judah is basically breaking down the norms of pretention, the epidemic of over spiritualizing sermons and the absence of realism in the form of teaching from pulpits today.
I have found myself digging deeper into the Word of God and waging it against the sermons I’m hearing. More often I’m drawn to Pastors who are taking the courageous step to be real, vulnerable, while applying theological application to real life circumstances; hence; exposing their Testimony (life story). For leaders in church communities there needs to be a crippling understanding that people coming into Houses of Worship in North America have very little context about God. More and more churches are exposed to people(s) whereby the evolution of society is contrary to our norms and values. This lends itself to leadership needing to be adaptable in our teachings for all who are willing to hear.
It is very easy to be persuaded by loud, exuberant, powerhouse preaching. Though, when we get down to the bottom line, what are people desperate for? Answers: clarity, encouragement, and tools to live each day. The struggles people face daily is real so without adequate teaching or fundamental truth, the application will only suggest that churches are simply throwing information at people and hoping they will retain it for their personal sake.
Questions like: Who is God? What are God’s attributes? Why is the Trinity important? Why do I forgive? Who is the Holy Spirit? What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit? How do I apply this to live a purposeful life? What is a purposeful life? These are questions from all age demographics, nationalities and gender.
As a body of believers there needs to be a daily conviction about how we expose our truth to the people around us. Teaching is firstly exposed by our words and actions; especially for youth and young adults desperately trying to emulate others. In knowing this, do we go around marginalizing individuals, blaspheming others in public or in hidden conversations? Do we take the approach of being holier than others simply by the false pretenses of super spiritual individuals we surround ourselves with? Do we speak the Christian lingo in public, but in closed quarters secretly plan and devise opportunities to live recklessly or on the edge because it’s consistent with the rest of the world? These are the types of teachings we need to practice through daily living and through open dialogue to those we Sheppard directly or indirectly.
Let us then instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning (Proverbs 9:9). Let us be a people set-apart mindful about the immediate and heavy needs of people in this world, which will lend itself to honest teaching. Honest teaching will fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. (Deuteronomy 32:2).