By Pastor Mitch Miller
By God’s grace, I get to preach most of the services at Griggs. However, I’m glad that God has graced us with a handful of other men who can preach the gospel alongside me and fill in from time to time. I’m also glad when a missionary or church planter asks to come preach for us and fill us in on his work.
This is a very healthy thing for our church and getting used to hearing different preachers bring the word is a healthy pattern for all of us. Here’s why:
- Different preachers provide different perspectives.
- Since each preacher has been through different trials and temptations, to some degree a wider range of application is made when a church contains multiple preachers.
- Different preachers make different emphases because they have different spiritual gifts. One may emphasize mercy to the hurting, where another emphasizes the gospel to the lost, and a third emphasizes discipleship for the saints. The body needs each emphasis.
- God has more to say than one man can utter. The Holy Spirit speaks through multiple messengers the words God has for his people. The church is not a one man show but a team effort.
- Multiple preachers provides an opportunity for the body to minister to the body. When your pastor says something it’s easy to think, “He has to say that, he’s a pastor.” When a fellow believer preaches something you may more quickly think, “That must be true. It’s coming from a guy who’s just like me.”
- Multiple preachers give the senior pastor a break so that he can fill his soul back up and pour back out.
Additionally, and this is my favorite point, God has chosen to use our church as a training ground for young preachers. I was one of those young preachers who learned to preach on the Griggs stage!
Many people don’t realize that I first came to Griggs as a college student just helping out on Sunday nights. Our former pastor, Ed Yoemans, gave me a chance to preach about once a month. I was as sporadic as a tiger in a cage walking back and forth and talking almost too fast to hear what I was saying. But I learned some things as a young preacher thanks to Pastor Yoemans giving me a chance to teach the Bible.
We are not about to stop that tradition. We want to be a place where future preachers are cranked out and they’ve got to start somewhere.
There is a tendency in all of us to enjoy some speakers more than others. There are some preachers we just click with. They speak our language. The opposite is true as well. For example, some preachers may go way over our heads. We have to be very careful not to be immature in this matter. God’s word is our food. And it’s good food. We need it regardless of who the waiter bringing it to the table is.
Thus, we don’t want to get to a place where we only attend when it’s one of our favorite speakers or check out when someone we’ve never heard heads to the pulpit. If a guest speaker is coming in, we should make an effort to come hear what he has to say. Because that man is just the waiter, the scriptures he is opening are what feeds the soul. So long as it is being rightly divided, we should be all ears and cheering on the messenger. And, at Griggs, we love cheering people on.
I am so thankful that almost every week I get the opportunity to teach the Bible. I love my role as the pastor. It’s truly the time of my life. But I also love giving multiple men a chance to preach.
Mitch Miller has served as the pastor of Griggs since the fall of 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchmillerme.