Is it a good thing that most churches have generally only one man preaching? Obviously, there are some churches that only have one pastor trained to preach, and most churches that generally only utilize one man have other preachers once every 4-6 weeks (on average). Still, when does preaching turn from being the faithful proclamation of the Word of God (that is, Word-centered) into a personality cult to hear what Pastor So-and-so will say this week (that is, man-centered)?
I’m not saying that churches who generally utilize only one man to preach do so out of a desire to perpetuate a personality cult, but do they consider this issue when they decide who is to preach? Are multi-campus churches (where the same preacher is live at one campus but displayed on screens at the other campuses) good? Specifically, does that model teach us to value the Word of God itself, or does that model teach us to value the preacher?
Getting a little closer to home (because I have to evaluate my own motives for being a preacher when I ask this question), do I want to be the one preaching the majority of time because I think that I have the most important things to say, or because I feel a burden to do so? Is it an issue of control, or an issue of faithfulness?
This is a challenging question, especially because I feel that I desire to hear certain preachers more often because (1) God has given them special gifts to preach, which we should not down-play; and (2) a big criterion for evaluating preachers is their faithfulness in the exposition of the Bible. So, do I love listening to John Piper because God uses him mightily to proclaim his (God’s) Word, or do I love listening to John Piper because I like John Piper?
Please don’t read this as though I am targeting specific pastors at specific churches that I have attended; most of the pastors under whose preaching I have sat are some of the most godly, humble men I have ever met. This post arises much more from questioning the motives of my own heart.
I do have some more thoughts on this, but I would be interested in your thoughts on this subject.