This morning I read the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 2 where Paul makes this statement:
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.1 Co 2:1–5, ESV
I had to laugh when I read this. How many listings for teaching pastors list weakness, fear, and trembling as qualifications for the position?
We want dynamic speakers that use pop culture references and have that cool factor which will draw big crowds. We want the guy who tells heart warming stories that make us feel good. We want the preacher that can tell jokes with a style that would make a comedian jealous.
But the Apostle Paul, who wrote much of our New Testament, was none of these things.
I laughed as I imagined the rejection letter sent by the search committee:
Dear Paul, while the sermon samples you sent us are doctrinally sound, and you have some good points of application, the manner of delivery that you exhibited does not meet with our current worship culture. We wish you all the best but we have decided that you are not a good fit for our congregation at this time.
Perhaps we need a little bit more of weakness, fear, and trembling in our pastors. Then perhaps they would, like Paul, preach “Jesus Christ and him crucified” and not get caught up in the latest church growth fad.
There is nothing wrong with a lack of self-confidence as long as it is coupled with great confidence in a Risen Savior.