Preaching: “You Have Nothing To Say To Me!” — Losing Your Platform!

losing your platform.jpg  Losing Your Platform!

  1. A platform gives an audience a desire to even attend.
  2. A platform is your connection, is why people listen & respond.
  3. A platform amplifies your message.
  4. A platform can be gained or lost.

The “Preaching Ministry” comes with certain stipulations.  One is that the congregation has called you to the pulpit ministry and therefore desires to listen to what you have to say.  In fact, more than that — believes you and is therefore willing to change their lives based on what you have to say to them as a spokesman of Scriptural truths.

However, it is possible for a pastor to lose his platform!  That is, he is no longer trusted or even believed as a representative of Scriptural truth.  He is no longer considered trustworthy.

Sometimes this happens suddenly — i.e., Bill Hybels?

Sometimes this happens in a domino manner.  One domino falls, and that unearths another and another — i.e., Paige Patterson?

Sometimes this happens over a long period of time — The pastor dies from a thousand small cuts over time — i.e., pastors who are finally asked to leave after years of ministry.

I well imagine that there are various shades in between these three general situations.  Nevertheless, they all amount to this . . .

The pastor no longer has a platform.

The pastor has nothing to say to the people which has any real impact.  There is no serious consideration of his words in regards to the lifestyle and/or the decisions that are made by his listeners

Recently, I was talking to a parent of teenagers who was upset by the personal decisions which the youth pastor had made.  The parent made sure he understood what had indeed taken place and had already talked to the youth pastor and the senior pastor — who was equally grieved by the actions of that youth leader.

That youth pastor had attended a secular rock concert which featured recording artist whose words were ungodly-to-vile.  AND had posted pictures on Facebook of his attendance (and thereby his enjoyment — since there were no words of unpleasantness or disgust).  The parent called up some the words of some of the various songs and would not even repeat some of lyrics.

Venture a guess as to the youth pastor’s response!

The youth pastor defended his attendance with that parent.

Wisely, he did not take that stance when called in by the senior pastor.  The senior pastor indicated that it was wrong for him to attend, no less as the youth pastor, and it was equally “foolish” (I am being kind) to then post about it as well.

The parent indicated to me that he said this to that youth pastor who chose to defend his actions — “You have nothing to say to me.”  Meaning, that by defending and excusing his attendance, he has no ministry in the hearing of that parent!

When I heard the statement — “You have nothing to say to me” — I thought about how pastors can bring people to that place in the local church ministry!

#1) A Lack Of Honest Consideration Of Criticism Or Change:  There is fair and just criticism!  Unfortunately, too often, the youth pastor’s response is reflective of pastors in general.  Pastors are not considered, and for good reason, to be open to much of any criticism, not even honest criticism!  Like Washington, they too may be living in a bubble — an “ecclesiastical bubble” called the church office — “Everything is going good —- right?”

There are a number of reasons which contribute to that which generally boil down to this — “They begin believing their own press.” 

Because of that, will some who sit and listen week after week think . . . .

You have nothing to say to me!

#2) The Shepherd Conducts Himself In A Way About Which The Sheep Are Admonished:  Just review some of what a “serial pastor” says to his “serial audience.”

“Live a holy life”: But a pastor attends events, speaks about activities, and/or engages in practices which are short of holy — questionable at best or worldly indeed?

going to an R-X-rated movie
watching this-or-that shady TV show
spending an inordinate amount of time playing video games
going to a secular concert by artists who are iffy
“investing” time, energy and money into this world
being at a bar or in a “Philistine” setting
drinking alcohol / cocktail hour
reading certain magazines
engaged in a side business which is questionable
supporting some social causes which are dubious
engaged at some level in a multi-level marketing “business.”
attending a violent sporting event (UFC/WWF)

Because of that, will some who sit and listen week after week think . . . .

You have nothing to say to me!

“Be faithful to the services of the church”: But then a pastor, wife, and/or children rarely attends Sunday School, evening service, youth activity, special services, mid-week services, “not their speaking event” (when another person is the speaker on this-or-that occasion), or all-church events-activities are no-shows.

Because of that, will some who sit and listen week after week think . . . .

You have nothing to say to me!

“Love God’s People”: But, who does not even visit some of the most seriously ill people of the church — and then offers lame excuses as to why they have never been to the hospitable or house — which would never wash were he or a family member that seriously sick!

Because of that, will some who sit and listen week after week think . . . .

You have nothing to say to me!

“Don’t compromise your beliefs, even if it costs you.”: But when it comes to dealing with church leaders — the out front people, on-stage workers —  little is said or done about their shaky life-style choices, immodest dress, sporadic church attendance, lack of participation-service, sloppy work habits, allowing members to exploit other members (prospecting from the pews), etc.  Because to address such issues comes with a cost — the loss of some members or workers.

Because of that, will some who sit and listen week after week think . . . .

You have nothing to say to me!

AND OTHER ADMONITIONS . . . . Be honest / Be fair / Be considerate / Be gracious-kind / Be forgiving / Be a model to others / Be consistent / Work hard / Be selfless / Love all people / Move on when mistreated / Walk the higher road / Serve / Give generously / Tithe / Give the glory to God / Remember – this is not our home / Don’t love money or regard the rich / Show humility / etc.

Yep — the standard is high for all church leadership!

#3) Using Political & Discretionary Power:  There are pastors who use and abuse their power — and a pastor does have power and more particularly discretionary power.  If you want to see if politics have infiltrated your church just watch what happens when someone disagrees or bucks the pastor.  Is  he/she . . . .

disregarded
marginalized
retaliated through discretionary decisions
ostracized
transferred to a lesser role
purposefully unmentioned
unused
even smeared internally

As members pick up on what is happening — and let me assure you that other members see it and/or pickup on it . . . .

. . . some who sit and listen week after week think . . . .

You have nothing to say to me!

.

The American church is in a terrible condition because of Shepherds who don’t grasp the demand of leadership and leading.

Many a Shepherd has lost his platform and ministry!

Because, no platform, no real ministry!

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