A Shaky Foundation
Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me...." --Jeremiah 9:23-24
It is true that much church activity is thrown back upon a shaky foundation of psychology and natural talents. It is sad but true that many a mother-in-law is actually praying that her handsome son-in-law may be called to preach because "he would have such a marvelous pulpit presence."
We live in a day when charm is supposed to cover almost the entire multitude of sins. Charm has taken a great place in religious expression. I am convinced that our Lord expects us to be tough enough and cynical enough to recognize all of this that pleases the unthinking in our churches: the charm stuff, the stage presence in the pulpit, the golden qualities of voice....
I feel sorry for the church that decides to call a pastor because "his personality simply sparkles!" I have watched quite a few of those sparklers through the years. In reality, as every kid knows at Fourth of July time, sparklers can be an excitement in the neighborhood--but only for about one minute! Then you are left holding a hot stick that quickly cools off in your hand. Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts, 32-33.
"Lord, confirm for each of us as pastors our divine call, that we might indeed build on a strong foundation. Then bring conviction and repentance to any in our congregations who are judging us with the wrong criteria. Amen."