Are We Preachers or Prophets?
When challenging your people act more like a preacher and less like a prophet.
In seminary, I fell in love with the Prophets. I had never read words so powerful. I had never imagined a group of people more passionate about God. They stopped at nothing to shock people out of their sins. They exposed the stupidity of idolatry. They showed that greed harmed the most vulnerable so that the rich could have more luxuries. They made God come alive in moments of holy fear as the wicked had to reckon with their actions.
After seminary, I pastored a church in a wealthy suburb of Minneapolis. One Sunday, I decided to let my love for the Prophets shine through. From my vantage point, my congregation had let their commitment to the American dream cloud their commitment to God's dream for creation. So, I thought that, like many angry prophets, I would let them know that. From the pulpit, I declared that the American dream was dead. I told people they had to choose whether to commit themselves to God's kingdom or American culture.
Lucky for me, the congregation was gracious. ...