Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Power of the Pulpit

Many pastors do not understand the power of the pulpit.  Like a rudder on a ship, it can determine the direction of a church either intentionally or unintentionally.  If a pastor neglects the opportunity to optimize the pulpit, he misses a God-given opportunity to lead, shepherd, and steer.

Pastors should use their pulpits with deliberate intent to address all the aspects of church life in the churches they lead, and they should be unashamed and transparent when they do so.  I mean, where else do you get everyone’s undivided attention on a weekly basis?  The pulpit is not only a place to sermonize or to expound a passage of scripture, it’s also a place to establish church standards, clarify policy, set direction, communicate mission, and embed the vision. Here we teach doctrine, give reproof, administer correction, and offer instruction. 

Whenever I speak to the PCC congregation I look for opportunities to say, “And that’s why the church exists” or “that’s why you need the church.”  If an issue needs to be addressed in our church family, the pulpit is the place where I do it from.  I use the pulpit to communicate PCC’s standards and values.  I use it to tell the whole church what’s expected of those who serve in vital roles.  I also do about 99% of my ‘counseling’ from the pulpit.  Not only that, I repeat myself because nobody gets it the first time.  I will re-tell the same stories, re-cast the vision, and re-teach familiar passages of scripture until it becomes embedded.  Redundancy is the key to retention.

The distinctive values of a church naturally fade with the progress of time.  By using the pulpit deliberately, we restate our important values over and over again.  This counteracts the tendency to drift or forget.

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