Why Would Anyone Want To Be a Preacher?
By Pat Kilpatrick
Have you ever wondered why anyone would ever want to be a preacher? Why would any man want to subject his family to the life a preacher must endure?
First of all, preachers are sometimes reluctant to establish friendships within the congregation. He then is criticized for being “aloof”. Why the reluctance to establish friendships? Sometimes it is just the transient nature of their work in a congregation. Preachers sometime find their involvement with a congregation short lived for one reason or another, often because he preaches against sins that are practiced by some of the members. We often refer to this as “meddling”. Paul told Timothy to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2). In the Verses 3-5, Paul didn’t promise that the word would always be received or that he would not have to suffer for his dedication. My great-granddad said that a preacher had to preach with love in his heart and his hat in his hand. Another reason preachers are reluctant to establish friendships within the congregation with which he is working is because he would be criticized for “playing favorites”. Too often congregations are divided over one issue or the other or just over clashes of personalities. If a preacher befriends one of either side the other side will oppose the preacher in everything that he does or teaches. This should never be a problem because these divisions should never exist in the first place. Read the first chapter of I Corinthians and look at our Lord’s plea in his prayer in the garden in John 17:20-23. We must be united in love and centered in Jesus Christ.
Preachers could have rather have chosen a vocation that is more lucrative. With the exception of some mega-churches, most congregations cannot pay a preacher wages equitable to wages that a man with a four-year degree would draw in secular work. For this reason, some men will work and preach “part time”. This is not too much of a problem in a congregation where the men are active in teaching and visiting the wayward. Regardless of whether a congregation supports a “full time” preacher or compensates a “part time” preacher, their support is given many times grudgingly. After all what does a preacher have to do? He just prepares a couple of sermons a week, and offers the invitation on Wednesday night, and teaches a Bible Class (maybe two), and publishes the bulletin, and visits the sick, and visits the wayward members, preaches the gospel anywhere he has opportunity, and etc. Do you get the picture? “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things” (Galatians 6:6). Read I Corinthians 9:6-14, “the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (Verse 14).
In case you have never studied and prepared a sermon, let me assure you that it takes several hours. On top of that, some preachers also have to prepare a Power Point presentation to go with his lesson. Now think about spending hours in prayer, study, and preparation for this sermon, and then preaching it to a bunch of empty pews, pews that are empty because we neglect the assembling of the church. The preacher is one that we should especially strive to “provoke unto love and to good works” (read Hebrews 10:24-25).
A preacher and his family are constantly scrutinized as though under a microscope. The preacher, his wife, and his children are held to higher standard than we would ever hold ourselves. Read Paul’s admonition to the preacher Titus in Titus 2:7-8. Now read the rest of Titus Chapter 2. Is Paul’s admonition to Titus in Verses 7 and 8 any more stringent than for others mentioned in this Chapter 2? Preachers and their families are just like the rest of us, they make mistakes. They are subject to the same laws as the rest of us and entitled to the same forgiveness.
Let’s try to find an answer to the question, “why would anyone want to be a preacher?” Paul is our greatest example of a suffering preacher. Probably no preacher has ever suffered as much for the cause of Jesus Christ as Paul (read II Corinthians 11:23-28), and besides that, giving up all the power and prestige he could have had as a Jewish leader. Why did you do it Paul? You’ll find the answer in Philippians 3:4-12 and in II Timothy 4:6-8. Why would anyone want to be a preacher? Because he loves God, he loves Jesus the Christ, and therefore loves the souls of all men, and he believes in the internal reward that will come after this life.
The church needs preachers today. The average age of our preacher pool is increasing and it is becoming increasingly harder for smaller congregations to find preachers. Let’s never treat a preacher in such a way that it would cause any Christian young man to ask, “Why would anyone want to be a preacher?”
13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how
shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall
they hear without a preacher?
15. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How
beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring
glad tidings of good things!
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