Sunday, April 20, 2008

John Piper Part 2: How My Pastoral Ministry Affects My Pulpit Ministry

image Continuing a post from yesterday in which John Piper shares sixteen ways in which his pulpit ministry is informed by his pastoral care ministry:

9. There is a synergy between pulpit and people when it comes to global, cross-cultural, frontier missions. The effect goes both ways.

10. Listening to feedback from the sheep will keep you from mistakes and make you more discerning.

(He speaks of being confronted when his language made obese as a synonym for gluttonous and how hurtful that was to obese people who were obese for reasons other than gluttony).

11. Listening to people talk about their fathers who are unbelievers or absent or abusive or unemotional or drunk or unfaithful has had a significant effect on how I talk about the fatherhood of God.

12. When I was shepherding the people through the worship wars in the mid-nineties, I found that the way the pulpit served best was by lifting up the great things we held to and not emphasize one side or the other.

13. The pastoral need to raise money for budgets and missions and buildings makes its way into preaching from time to time and my aim is always to put such immediate needs in the larger context of the greatness of God and show how the main issue is whether Christ is your treasure.

14. The pursuit of racial diversity and racial harmony is a pastoral commitment in the church and in my life. Therefore it has made its way into the preaching with a regular commitment to address the issue directly at least once a year on Martin Luther King weekend, and with frequent allusions in other sermons.

15. Closely related is the pastoral passion for the weakest members of our society, namely, the unborn, and the fact that a million of them are killed every year legally in our land. This shapes the preaching in a direct way at least once a year.

16. In my pastoral interactions with my people I hear how difficult prayer is for most of them and the few surveys we have done over the years has shown how little time our people spend praying and meditating on the Word. So I devote two messages at the beginning of every year to this.

You can find the expanded notes of this lecture here.

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