Friday, February 09, 2007

Anger in Preaching

Do you ever find yourself angry when teaching or preaching. I'm not really talking about a righteous indignation, but rather a great frustation with the participation of your hearers. You feel like they should be "getting it", but instead they act unphased. It appears that nothing seeps from their ears down to their hearts. This is a great temptation that hits all too close to home for me.

Out of Ur lists the Ten Deadly Sins of Preaching in one of their blog articles. It was excellent. My favorite quote was from Henri Nouwen...
Anger in particular seems close to a professional vice in the contemporary ministry. Pastors are angry at their leaders for not leading and at their followers for not following. They are angry at those who do not come to church for not coming and angry at those who do come for coming without enthusiasm. They are angry at their families, who make them feel guilty, and angry at themselves for not being who they want to be. This is not an open, blatant, roaring anger, but an anger hidden behind the smooth word, the smiling face, and the polite handshake. It is a frozen anger, an anger which settles into a biting resentment and slowly paralyzes a generous heart. If there is anything that makes the ministry look grim and dull, it is this dark, insidious anger in the servants of Christ.
Lord please let my speech be seasoned with grace, and never let my generous heart become paralyzed with resentment.

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