Preachers are often portrayed in unflattering ways in movies. Often as some caricature that doesn't resemble the typical pastor of a church. To be sure, plenty of charlatans have filled TV screens and paced across stages.
Let's face it, a typical church pastor appears average and boring compared to the exaggerated portrayals of preachers in films. It's easy to poke fun at these emotional and bigger than life caricatures.
Most churches have pastors who are overworked and underpaid. I know many that are and remember my early years as a pastor. The charlatans and caricatures are the exception, not the rule.
Persuasion and instruction
Preaching is persuasive by nature.
A much better example of a preacher is the famous Billy Graham, or Luis Palau, or Greg Laurie who's known for his Harvest Crusades.
These men can teach from the Bible, but they are best known as preachers—men with a gift for evangelism with persuasion.
Teaching is instructional and appeals to the reasoning mind.
Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, was an excellent teacher. He was a prime example for many other fine teachers associated with Calvary Chapel.
Most pastors are called on to do both—teach and preach.
Paul our example
This is the example given by the apostle Paul throughout Acts. Most of us learn to flow from one role to another without consciously doing so. At least, that's my observation over the years.
And he [Paul] went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. Acts 19:8 (NKJV)
I see the role of a pastor being a lot like parenting.
As much as parents need to instruct their children, we need to become more persuasive than instructional at times—“Get in there and clean up that room right now!”
But how does this relate to those who aren't pastors?
2 Different conversations
We are all called to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15). Most of the time this takes place in one-on-one encounters between us and someone we want to see come into God's kingdom.
Not long ago, I met up with two young men for coffee and conversation. As I shared my thoughts as a pastor, I noticed two men at a table next to us.
One had a Bible in hand as he spoke to the other man with passion. I could see their discussion get pointed, while the one with the Bible both exhorted and pleaded with his friend.
Two groups of friends, two different approaches to conversation.
Sometimes there's a need for persuasion and passion, but most of the time we just need to share what God has made known to us—about Him and His kingdom.
Some questions and an encouragement
How recently have you spoken to someone about the kingdom of God, or shared the gospel message?
Are you more of a persuader or someone who likes to reason things out?
Find someone to share God's message of redemption with this week, and share what God's revealed to you recently with a friend.
This is a guest post originally posted on Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale's Daily Devo blog. Here's the link– Passion and Reason