"What I Learned in My First Pastorate"

Writing for Towers, a publication of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Jim Hamilton reflects on lessons learned during his first pastorate. I identify with much of what he writes. It's worth reading as churches often struggle with what a pastor is to be and do.
Jesus gets glory when pastors forsakethe wisdom of the world, set aside attempts to show off, open the Bible and preach it.

David Wells says the mark of the evangelical church in America is superficiality. I am convinced that authenticity comes from the clear exposition of the Scriptures. People encounter God when His Word is read to them, explained to them and applied to them by the power of the Spirit. How do you get past the happy smiley veneer people wear to church? Preach the Word.

Do you want singles in their late 20s and early 30s confessing anxiety about finding a mate, asking you to pray for them to trust the Lord’s providence in their lives? Do you want guys confessing their struggles with pornography as they seek to join the church? Do you want people with real problems (homosexual urges and the fallout from past sexual sin, whether lingering STD’s or guilt from an abortion) joining the church and coming for counsel in their struggle against sin? Do you want guys coming to you because they’re afraid of the way they’ve been rough with their wives and they don’t want it to go any further, so they’re seeking accountability?

You don’t get this from wearing cool clothes, having a trendy name for your church or learning to preach from comedians. If it comes — and if the authenticity about “big” sins is accompanied by authenticity about “acceptable” sins — it will come by the power of the Spirit through the preaching of the Word. The Bible convinces us to quit playing games. The Bible shows us the beauty of holiness. The Bible convicts us of the worth of this treasure, and we sell all we have — or risk exposing our sin — to buy the field in which the treasure lies.
Read the entire article HERE.