Today was the day for the annual KRKS Pastor’s appreciation breakfast in Denver. Each year, the local Christian station hosts pastors for a breakfast complete with prize giveaways and complimentary gifts for each attendee. My worship pastor and I made the trek to south Denver for this event largely to hear the featured speaker, Alistair Begg. For those who don’t know him, Alistair hosts “Truth for Life” which is heard on many Christian radio stations but is also available as a podcast. Alistair is one of the few teachers I still download to my MP3 player because he always seems to touch my heart. Speaking specifically to pastors today, his message was even more pointed.
He began by speaking from Acts 8 and the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunich. He spoke about the truth being revealed and then, through a six point outline, he challenged us to encourage a new generation of preachers that would herald the Word of God and not just entertain the masses. He encouraged biblical exposition. He spoke of taking the time to engrave the message on our hearts before we preach. He quoted from the great preachers Richard Baxter, John Owen, and theologian John Calvin. He challenged us as his “colleagues” to prepare a “banquet feast” each Sunday for our congregation to dine on. He used our breakfast as the metaphor talking about how carefully each part of the meal was prepared and served and how it was NOT all thrown together like slop you feed to the dogs. He opined that many preachers today rush the message and serve up slop rather than a carefully planned meal. He also spoke to our hearts of making the message palatable to each congregation that we each serve and not settle for a one size fits all message.
Due to time contraints, Begg was only given a scant 15 minutes to speak but in that time, he addressed 45 minutes of issues! My only wish was that he would have talked longer.
I’ve been challenged. I’ve been refreshed. I’ve heard one of my modern day heroes of the faith and I left with a copy of his book “On Being a Pastor” that he gave away to each pastor in attendance. My worship pastor and I left happy.
If you are a pastor, I pray you are encouraged by someone today as well. We all need that from time to time. Ours is a calling that calls imperfect people like you and I to a task only God can accomplish. May he strengthen you as has me on this day!