Earnest Preaching AND Earnest Shepherding

After my last post from Spurgeon, I received the following comment from one of my mentors, Eric Sipe. As usual, Eric offers some helpful thoughts about the pastor’s role–and a bit of a corrective to Spurgeon’s comment:

I think I know what he is saying and have an appreciation for it, however, I don’t think it is an either/or situation. I think what happens on “pastoral visitation” gives unction and focus for the pulpit on Sunday. I also think many, many pastors use that very excuse to not do the hard stuff of disciple-making that a shepherd must do because he wants to “feed” his people. So, they stow themselves away and think that they will do it all in the pulpit on Sunday, but their style or gifts do lend to good communication so in reality, it is not happening in the pulpit either. Consequently, we have weak people who are not shepherded. You know me, I am inclined to plead that earnest shepherding be done as well as earnest preaching!

Bingo. Thanks, bro!


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2 Responses to Earnest Preaching AND Earnest Shepherding

  1. Brad Chymist says:

    Earnest Preaching and Earnest Shepherding are both powerless if both are not preceded by Earnest Prayer. All too often, I fear, there are pastors standing in pulpits, and knocking on doors with no power at all because they rely on their own ability to orate the scriptures. When we forget that the Spirit of Truth is the source for power in the pulpit and on visitation we lose the battle on both fronts. The fight is not won in the pulpit or on visitation, it is won or lost on our knees.

  2. Daniel Mann says:


    Although I agree that it isn’t an either-or, the ministry of the Word must be central (and always has been). For this reason, those elders who teach and preach are worthy of “Double honor” (1 Tim. 5:17). Keep up the good work!

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