One of the questions that I have been wrestling with lately is the changing role of the preacher, or if the role is changing, or if it should change. It used to be that the preacher had the role of communicating information. He/she was the one who had been to seminary and therefore knew more than most people about the Bible and would therefore bestow his knowledge on the congregation. However, our world is changing. As the title of Thomas Friedman’s book states, “The World is Flat.” Information is exchanged at an unbelievable rate.
Just last week I had an experience that helped me digest this point. I was sending out trivia about the Academy Awards to try to get people excited about our Academy Awards night that we were having. One of the questions is sent out was, “what is the height and weight of an official ‘Oscar.'” I kid you not, within 10 mins I had 10 emails in my inbox with the correct answer. In what other day and time would something like that be possible?
Now, I agree that not all of the information that people get online is accurate (I’m not referring to wikipedia of course), but the information is there and our people can find. All that to say, I am asking myself the question, is the primary role of the preacher still to communicate information? Maybe the role is changing. Maybe its becoming more about inspiriing, inviting people to live for a greater purpose, etc. I’d be interested to hear thoughts.