I wrote a blog on “Leading from the Pulpit” because our executive vice president at LifeWay, Brad Waggoner, kept asking me to do so. I told him that he should, but he doesn’t really have an online presence. He has tweeted twice, once on accident and once about a restaurant in Missouri that throws rolls at you.
The reason Brad kept asking me is that he has sensed, and I agree with him, that some preachers, out of a pure desire to preach the Word, are failing to lead in their preaching. Their right commitment to handle the text faithfully has caused them to equate handling the text carefully with only handling the text. Thus, they act as if they are unaware of pain and needs in their congregations. They fail to give overarching direction as to where the Lord is leading the church.
Brad specifically expressed concern for those who are “reformed in their theology” and wondered if perhaps some of them equate a high view of theology with not leading practically week-to-week. After all, shepherding is not merely instructional in nature. Shepherding, by its very definition, includes leading.
So one day, as we were coming back from lunch, I insisted that while I agree with his concerns, many reformed pastors are teaching and leading simultaneously. To show him an example, I played the first ten minutes of one of Matt Chandler’s sermons. I had just listened to it the week before while driving, so it was fresh on my mind.
We sat in my Jeep and listened. At the end, Brad said, “That is one of the best examples I have heard of preaching and leading.”
The sermon I played for him is here.
In the first ten minutes, you hear Matt explain how their church is structured in leadership, share direction on a new elder joining their elder team, and lovingly shepherd and pray for a family that was hurting deeply. He then preaches a strong message from the Book of Galatians.
PS > If you listen and find yourself praying for the family, as I did, you may wonder what happened in the situation. The second child is doing well, and she is pregnant with another child.