The Pulpit is not a Platform

Pastors sometimes use secular marketing
strategies to grow their "brand."
Much of what happens in churches today evidences a lack of gospel focus.   We wonder why, in the later half of the twentieth century, we had smooth-talking preachers in nice suits in preaching circuits without any discernible biblical content.  We wonder today why certain pastors seem to frequent conferences but their churches seem to model little practical holiness.  It seems that one reason is that pastors become tempted to enlarge their platforms, an endeavor at the expense of the local church.

R. Scott Clark has written an excellent piece highlighting the rise of celebrity platform with the decline of the pastoral pulpit.  He writes "that students should not come to seminary with the hope of becoming famous. There is a difference between writing occasionally and deliberately setting out to build a platform and a brand. The church hardly needs more people using the pulpit as leverage. A minister ought to be content to fulfill his vocation. He ought not seek a platform at the expense of his congregation."

I'm not necessarily of the opinion that we need to go back to constructing high pulpits and to wearing black robes.  Even so, we must recognize what we've lost there, lest the call of celebrity fill the vacuum.  Let's hope that our pastors will have "VDM" on their business cards, not "CEO."

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