In this American culture obsessed with personality and celebrity, the Church has fallen for the lie that those most visible are most valuable. Isn’t it odd, then, that as the performances in our pulpits have seemingly become more refined and produced, our corporate power and cultural impact have declined (almost proportionately!)?
Aside from many issues at hand, such as personal character and biblical accuracy, we must also consider that condition of the “soil” that is receiving this seed. In other words, the most excellent of preaching can be diluted by the waters of carnality that we let flow through our homes. Consider these words from Richard Baxter in his 17th Century classic, The Reformed Pastor: “If any good be begun by the ministry in any soul in a family, a careless, prayerless, worldly family is almost sure to stifle it, or at least very much hinder it.”
May my ministry as a father and husband remove those things which would stifle the work of God through the preaching and proclamation of his word!