I ran across the attached infographic today and decided to share it with a couple of my own thoughts. The one thing that really stands out to me is the statistic that 72% of Pastors admit that they only study the Bible when preparing their sermons. Seriously? Well, that is a serious charge to make, but one I think bears up in the rest of the statistics on the chart. Matter of fact, I had a Pastor at a church I used to attend admit to me that for quite some time in his pastorate, the only time he opened the Bible was when he was preparing a sermon. He also did his Sunday evening sermon prep on Sunday afternoon. I would imagine that he is not alone in this, as the infographic states.
Most mornings at 3:30 AM I get out of bed so that I can spend time reading the Bible and studying God’s Word for myself before I head off to work. Since I have an hour commute to work and a hour return trip, I typically spend that time listening to a sermon (This morning it was Brian Borgman teaching out of Hebrews on Jesus, The Firstborn) or some other teaching podcast like The Reformed Forum Podcast. Then, in the evenings, after my children go bed I typically read or study something from one of the many theological books that I have purchased. I am not a pastor and ministry is not currently my calling, but I typically spend 18 – 20 hours a week in personal study of the Word, plus prayer time.
So, I guess what I’m saying is that it is very frustrating to me to see an infographic like the one I’ve shared. But then again, when you look at the state of the current evangelical church, is it any wonder that the average church attendance is roughly 18%? Over the years I’ve found that if a leader is weak, those he leads will be weak. If a leader is strong, he will inspire strength in those he leads. This was extremely evident to me when I served as a Religious Program Specialist with several Marine Battalions. Officers and Enlisted NCO’s in the Marine Corp were typically weeded out if they didn’t cut the mustard and show strong leadership. And while the Church cannot be run like a military organization, shared leadership between the Pastor and Elders must exist and it must be strong and focused in a church setting and context. I would submit from what I am sharing today that this not the case in most church’s. Just sayin’.