It is amazing to me how people refer to many pastors as their own pastor. Certainly this is a benefit of the 21st century. We have an amazing amount of access to some exceptional Christian speakers and leaders.
However, podcasts, webcasts, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, conferences, and books all have changed how too many of us think of what a pastor is and does.
I loved this quote from one of my favorite blogs, Missions Misunderstood:
“A pastor knows you well enough to preach the gospel into your community of faith. He holds you accountable for your missteps and encourages you through the rough patches. A pastor is more than just a presenter of gospel teaching, he’s a shepherd who supervises your spiritual formation. The conference stage, book, (and, in many cases, the megachurch pulpit) serve as two-way mirrors; allowing us to be taught without being seen, to be preached to without being cared for…Believers need more than just sound instruction. Every Christian everywhere needs a pastor who knows them and speaks into their lives personally.”
Many of the big name pastors are just merely teachers who keep minimal hours at their own local church. Instead they travel the country speaking at conferences and retreats and use their time at home to write talks and books.
We are blessed to live during a time when so much incredible and Godly teaching is at our fingertips every moment, but the danger is that we often consume these teachings for the sake of a feeling or an emotion. I’ve been guilty of this, I know that.
I believe sustainable life change happens through accountability and relationships with others. What we need today is not more internet Bible preachers, we need more men and women who are willing to truly be pastors.