Don’t get me wrong: I like Mark Driscoll. And Andy Stanley. Heck, I’ll say it: I like the creativity and admire the delivery of Ed Young. These guys are amazing communicators and it’s no wonder they have a tremendous following.
But there’s something in me that’s a little uneasy about a church going so multi-site that churches across the country look to a guy who lives thousands of miles away as their preacher of the morning. (I wrote more about the vitual pastor in this article).
The trajectory of the church seems to headed this way, and I’ve got to wonder if we are seeing the rise of the next stage of denominationalism; this time, the denominations won’t be called “Methodist” or “Baptist,” but instead organized under the platform of a main speaker. Now I don’t doubt the sincerity of these guys. I certainly don’t doubt their ability to effectively communicate God’s word. In fact, you could easily argue that they have more or less been pushed into this position by bad preaching. After all, who wants to hear the local guy when you can have Andy Stanley?
But maybe there’s another reason that has forced this issue – sheer lack of numbers. Where are all the preachers? My own demonination is reporting a continuing drop in seminary enrollment and that less and less people are giving their lives to be pastors. I can’t help but wonder why that is. I suppose you could argue that they’re being run off. After all, the job of “pastor” doesn’t have the greatest reputation as far as paychecks or sustaining a good home life. Or maybe it’s sort of circular, that young ‘uns feel intimidated about potentially having to “compete” with the big dogs on the video screens. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t seem like we are turning them out any more.
So where did they all go? Where are all the preachers? I don’t think it’s arrogant for someone to stand up, under the calling of God, and say simply: “God has given me something to say. And I’m going to say it.” It maybe my perception, but it seems like fewer and fewer are doing so.
What do you think?