Sunday, January 17, 2010

Six New Testament metaphors for preachers

In chapter four of Between Two Worlds ((Stott, John R. W. Between Two Worlds The Challenge of Preaching Today. Boston: Wm. B. Eerdmans Company, 1994), author John Stott presents 6 different images that the Bible uses to illustrate what a Christian preacher is.
  1. The Christian preacher is a herald. (1 Corinthians 1:23)
  2. The Christian preacher is a sower. (Luke 8:4-8)
  3. The Christian preacher is an ambassador. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
  4. The Christian preacher is a steward or housekeeper. (1 Corinthians 4:1)
  5. The Christian preacher is a pastor or shepherd. (John 21:15-17)
  6. The Christian preacher is an approved workman. (2 Timothy 2:15)
"What is immediately noticeable about these six pictures is their emphasis on the 'givenness' of the message. Preachers are not to invent it; it has to be entrusted to them. thus, good news has been given to the herald to proclaim, good seed to the farmer to sow and good food to the steward to dispense, while good pasture is available to the shepherd to lead his flock there. Similarly, the ambassador does not pursue his owm policy but his country's, and the workman cuts a way for 'the word of truth', not for his own word. It is impressive that in all these New Testament metaphors the preacher is a servant under someone else's authority, and the communicator of someone else's word." (136-7)

1 comment:

  1. Jude, this is very good. The tragedy that is revealed to me, more often than not, is that a lot of pastors/preachers are seeking to be served rather than serve. The pulpit has become a career rather than a calling.