A Preacher’s FingerprintPosted: September 11, 2008
The preacher and his congregation have a special relationship. Theologically, it’s understood that God speaks through the preacher to give HIs people His word. The preacher is the recipient from God, but also the servant of God to His people. But this post is not to go into the specifics of how that works out theologically. I wanted to point out something I’ve noticed a great deal recently. I never noticed this in past years, because I was in one church context (CFC) for the last 7 years, but with the recent move to Boston, I’ve seen this phenomenon come alive. What am I talking about?
Have you ever noticed how people of a certain church tend to speak (and indefinitely preach) just like the Pastor who is preaching week in and week out?
It’s comical, really. All the idiosyncrasies, catch phrases, cliches, and hand motions get passed down from the Pastor to their congregation. If I had an exhaustive database of all the preachers out there and their preaching styles, I bet I’d be able to tell you which church you attend just by observing how you talk. You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve met that talk just like Tim Keller here. Why? Simply because they listen to him! For the longest time, I always caught myself talking and preaching in the same manner as Pastor Min (obviously with no where near the spiritual power). My hand motions, cliche punch lines, and choice of words were all modeled after the man I heard preach to me for 7 years. I guess more than anything, that’s a good thing…
So what’s the point of this observation? Nothing, really. But in some sense you can understand how important it is to listen to good preachers. Not only because you’ll begin to think like them (forming your theological convictions along the same lines), but also because you’ll inevitably begin to talk like them. So for all of you aspiring preachers out there… If you want to preach like Piper, listen to Piper. 🙂