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  • Dis-Honesty in Preaching

    Yesterday I attended, via Zoom, a hybrid conference of Baptists doing theology.  There were all sorts of papers and some were of especial interest, relating to Church Meetings and to Preaching.  It was the latter that especially resonated, with its focus on dishonesty in preaching.  Three broad categories of dishonesty were explored, using metaphors...

    • Dishonesty as banality: The herd and the preacher as drug-dealer
    • Dishonesty as manipulation: The gang and the preacher as propagandist
    • Dishonesty as disowning: The innocent and the preacher as beautician


    Whether or not anyone likes the analogies (chosen deliberately to be provactive by the speaker) or the categories (derived from literature) the temptation to dishonesty among/by preachers is very real.  In my experience (now more than quarter of a century) it's there in congregations too - honesty can be too challenging (this was noted by the speaker).

    So, what are my dishonesties?

    When I was a student doing Biblical studies, my tutor pointed out to me that I tended to do all the work then step back from the conclusion... I am certainly guilty of that as a preacher, partly because my own fragile ego, people-pleasing tendencies and need to be liked mean that I have all too often backed away from the challenge, having been accused (a long time ago in another place) of telling people off.  So yes, banality and innocence can be my dishonesties.

    It's good to pause and reflect on this  to be reminded that it's easy to fall into these traps not because we are lazy or willfully dishonest, but because we are finite and flawed.

     As preachers - and as those preached to - I wonder what it is that we need to reflect upon if we are to grow and flourish? 

  • Souper Saturday

    In November I began an experiment that will run for six months, whereby I have an 'open house' drop in thingy on the first Saturday of the month.  The aim is to allow church folk to meet up and chat and/or to share a simple lunch.

    I felt 'convicted' to attempt this whilst preparing some serivces thinking about hospitality and, in part, as a response to the cost of living crisis.  I firmly belive that God is calling me to this - and at the same time fully open to it 'failing', if success is measured on how many people come or how often.

    The first Souper Saturday no-one came, which I had half expected - it was quite short notice.  But it was still good to set aside the time, make the soup and be present rather than rushing around.

    The second Souper Saturday there were half a dozen of us, some calling in for a cuppa, and others for lunch.  Conversation was good and we laughed as we discussed the merits of 'smooth' or 'lumpy' leek and potato soup.

    Today was the third Souper Saturday, and the photo shows soup is bubbling away in my slow cooker.  I also had festive goodies donated by a neighbour. As well as folk from church, a friend who is a healthcare chaplain was in the area asked if it was okay to drop in.  A good blether was shared, along with bowls of thick lentil soup.

    I don't know how this experiment will work out, and that's fine.  It's just important to me to follow what I believe to be God's call at this time.