A Shift In Focus
By: Northern Seminary
One of the wonderful (and frustrating) things about living in the Chicagoland area is that the weather is constantly shifting. At the beginning of June, we had a 90-degree day, and it was followed by a 70-degree one. Illinois seems to constantly shift between different seasons, and with the shift from cold to warm weather, construction season starts – which leads to shifting traffic lanes.
Everywhere you look, there seems to be shifts in our world, and those shifts are not confined to Chicagoland weather or traffic patterns. Even in our churches, there is a shift in what it means to be a pastor and a preacher.
At last year’s preaching forum, Michael Quicke addressed how preachers and leaders need to shift focus. You can watch his keynote address below.
Shifting focus does not mean uprooting one’s foundation. As preachers, we still firmly rely on the text and strive to accurately present the word of God. We are thankful for the classes we had in seminary that helped us speak clearly, stop swaying, emphasize important words, and use gestures that enhance our message. And we continue to work on clear communication skills!
But if we only focus on the mechanics of preaching, then we are missing the bigger picture, and we are missing ourselves. A New Kind of Preacher builds on a strong foundation of exegetical integrity and clear communication, but it does not focus on it. Instead, A New Kind of Preacher shifts focus:
The focus shifts from leading people in worship to becoming a lead-worshiper.
The focus shifts from the task of sermon-making to the sermon makers.
The focus shifts from working in isolation to collaborating in community
The focus shifts from what church programs are doing to the work that God is doing.
Shifting focus does not mean that everything you have ever done is wrong.
It does not mean you are a bad pastor or a lackluster preacher.
Rather, it invites you to look at your ministry – look at your preaching – look at your people – look at God – in a new light and with new eyes.
Shift focus to see the new things that God is calling you to embrace.