July 23, 2010

United Methodist Ordination – pt. 3

Posted in Ordination at 7:02 am by billgepford

The itinerant system is most often defended with the excuse that it facilitates prophetic preaching.  The assumption seems to be that itinerancy permits pastors to speak freely, as they no longer worry that their congregation will fire them for calling out sin.  However, itinerant pastors are rarely in one place long enough to build deep relationships, which are also essential for effective prophetic preaching; congregations can easily ignore transitory pastors who have no foundation in the community. While non-itinerant pastors can be fired for preaching over inflammatory subjects, itinerant pastors can be completely ignored during the same sermons, simply because they don’t have longstanding relationships with the congregation, and will probably be leaving soon anyways.

So what is the point of preaching?  Is the point merely to say something from the pulpit, or to draw the congregation closer to God?  Itinerant preachers may feel empowered to say whatever they wish, but do they have the deep bonds to truly make it stick?

I would rather get fired for preaching one effective sermon than live a life full of Sundays that have no impact.

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