I watched the event with my own eyes.
I heard the words with my own ears.
I could see his face, and how deeply the words cut him.
The church member had to comment after the pastor preached. I guess she thought it was incumbent upon her to share her perspective.
“Pastor, I just heard that same text preached by Alistair Begg on a podcast. You need to listen to it. You could really learn some things.”
My thoughts at the moment cannot be repeated here.
She had hurt her pastor deeply. She had wounded him with, essentially, words of his inadequacy compared to one of the great preachers of today.
Another day. Another podcast comparison. Another hurt pastor.
To be certain, I listen to many of the great preachers of today. They have been gifted by God to exposit passages like few can. It is no wonder their podcasts get millions of downloads.
But they are not your pastor. Let’s look at seven reasons your pastor is more than a podcast.
- Your pastor knows you. The podcast pastor couldn’t pick you out of a crowd of two people. Your pastor knows you and has made a commitment to serve as your spiritual shepherd.
- Your pastor is there for you. The podcast pastor has no way of being there for you in times of need. Your pastor is available in good times and bad.
- Your pastor knows your family. The podcast pastor has no idea who all the listeners are, much less their families. No doubt, you can remember times when your pastor ministered to your family in a very personal way.
- Your pastor is at the hospital for you. The podcast pastor does not know the names of the hospitals in your community. Hospital visits are some of the most joyous and painful times of a pastor’s ministry. Your pastor is there to celebrate and grieve with you.
- Your pastor is a part of your community. The podcast pastor may interact with the online community by making an occasional comment on the podcast or blog. But your pastor is a recognized face in your community, eating where you eat and going where you go. Your pastor ministers to those outside the church as well as within the congregation.
- Your pastor preaches as one who is informed by the needs of your church and community. The podcast pastor does not know the needs of your church and community. Your pastor takes on the burden of bringing God’s message to you, your fellow believers, and those in your community. The pastor does not take this role lightly.
- Your pastor was called to your church. The podcast pastor was not.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to listen to some of the best podcast preachers in the world. But they aren’t my pastor.
Church members: the next time you are tempted to tell your pastor how great a podcast preacher is, please pause and think.
Instead, express your love to your pastor.
Comparing your pastor to a podcast pastor is deeply hurtful to your pastor.