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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Should all ministers be able to preach well?

Slightly loaded question as a relative of mine had the pleasure of one of our Bishops preaching at her morning service today (I won't say who, but as you know we're in Sussex so you have a choice of 3...). Anyway, she was not impressed. Now as I wasn't there I cannot coment personally on his ability to preach. But she noted that as a Bishop she would have expected him to speak without the aid of copious written notes, 'Apparently' he read everything, rather than speaking and she was left with the impression that he had gone to his PC on Saturday evening, picked out an old talk and thought 'that one will do'.

So it left me wondering, bearing in mind that a Ministers role is a wide one, should it be a pre-requisite that those in Minsitry can preach well, or at least get the congregation on side!? Sporting stars these days have to have 'media training' in order to be able to speak to the press and therefore the public, without making fools of themselves. Should this be compulsory for Priests? At the very least, one would expect a Bishop to be marginally better than the regular priest. Down here we used to have the benefit of Bishop Lindsay, who may not be everyones favourite person, but he could preach pretty darn well. In fact I'd go so far as to say that he is the best Christian speaker I have heard. He had a way of appealing to everyone, from kids to the blue-rinsers, in the same talk, without being either patronising or overbearing.

SO... is good preaching an essential part of ministry? or can it be out-weighed by other quality areas of their ministry?


Seeker said...

I think that preaching that is at least competent is an essential part of public ministry, but no-one excels at everything. I see nothing wrong in preaching from full notes or a complete script. The trick is to speak directly to people in such a way that no-one notices the props.

Anonymous said...

Paul was accused of being weighty in letters but wimpy in person and his letters made the scripture. I would hope that ministers would be used in the church where their gifting is but they should have some training in preaching.