In talking to a number of my fellow expositors, they have a tough time listening to other preachers on their vacation Sunday off. I understand why. When I became a music major in college, for a long while I went from enjoying music to critiquing music. What joy was lost!
Preachers do this as well. They listen to a preacher from a technical standpoint: how do they stand, how they read Scripture, why didn’t he emphasize this at this point, he could have done better here, etc., etc., ad nauseum.
I submit that preachers must go to other churches on their Sunday off. In fact, it’s crucial. Why?
- For the sake of your souls. Preachers spend a lot of time feeding, and not just in the pulpit. Conversations, counseling, writing—so many ways they spend time bringing others to the banquet table. Preachers need to have times where they sit before the preached Word so the Word will work in them. Find a church locally that’s faithful to the Word and be a listener!
- For the sake of your people. Your people need to see you consistently and passionately model what you tell them: attendance and participation in a local church is important. When they see you doing this, they will take note. People learn a lot by what’s caught as well as what’s taught.
- For the sake of your family. To add on to #2, your family needs to see that you preaching and being around the Word is not simply a job—and then when you’re not preaching, you turn that off. Your family will see that Christ matters, even when you’re not ‘on.’
- For the sake of the pastor of that church. I went to Calvary Church in Englewood up the road and sat under the preaching of my friend, Mark Hallock. He greeted me from the pulpit, and everyone turned around to look at me in the third row from the back. I didn’t want to cause a stir—I just wanted to sit. But it was so encouraging to him that I came. I have missed this important component over the years, to encourage my fellow pastors in the ministry. Mark even said he’d come over sometime. And that will encourage me.
Anything else from you pastors? Any benefits you see?