In a few days, the lights will be turned on, the pews will be straightened and clean, the sermons will be prepared, the Supper will be ready and waiting, and we will begin our task of worshiping our Lord in spirit and in truth as per His command in John 4:24 and throughout the New Testament. There will be a man there, often somewhat older but I hope that my generation is working diligently to take on his role when he is no longer able, he will be dressed nicely and will probably be doing one of two things. Either this man will be running around like a chicken with his head cut off, or he will be standing at the "back door" of the church building ushering people in and greeting them as they arrive. This man is often called "the preacher".
And, while he is very visible to the congregation on Sundays, and most likely Wednesdays, you will probably have little idea what he does on Mondays (or any other day of the week for that matter). Maybe you have some idea because you were sick last week and he called you or visited you, or maybe you have an idea because last month when you moved he was there lifting boxes just like everyone else, but what does the preacher do from day to day? And, for that matter, what kinds of problems does he face, what stresses must he endure, and probably most mysterious of them all, how in the world does he pick something to study next Sunday?
I don't have time, and you probably don't have the patience, to sit down and discuss each thing that the preacher does during the week. But, there are some ways you can have a better idea.
The sure fire way to learn more about the man that stands before you on Sundays and Wednesdays and teaches the Word of God is to ask him about himself and his work week. Now, don't make this target practice to belittle him for "not having a real job" but if you genuinely want to know, just ask.
It amazes me when someone says the statement quoted above. I don't want to sound harsh in saying this, but I challenge anyone who believes that the preacher's job is "not a real job" to spend just one day with him. Follow him everywhere he goes, study everything he studies, talk to everyone he talks to, and you will quickly know why some afternoons it is impossible to get him because he has turned his phone off!
3. Read This!
I bet you didn't realize that you were reading a book review when you started this, and that was by design. There is one thing, aside from asking and shadowing, that will easily give any person wishing to ascertain the life and work of a preacher that insight which they seek.
The thing - Fit For The Pulpit, edited by Chris McCurley. This book not only encourages the man about whom we have been discussing but it also gives what is probably the most concise, understandable and even readable overview of the life of the Gospel preacher.
You will be amazed at the very visible experience of the brethren who wrote this book. And, if you happen to be a preacher, you will know that the experience gathered and given in this book will do wonders for your own ministry to the church of Jesus Christ.
You won't regret it!