Out of Context: John Ortberg

"If I'm to preach to people effectively, I must be freed from my need for their approval and applause. As long as I am chained to that need, then my preaching will really be trying to fill up something in me that I can never fill."

-John Ortberg is pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. Taken from "My Holy of Holies: How all-too-human preachers can prepare their souls to preach." in the Spring 2007 issue of Leadership journal. To see the quote IN context, you'll need to see the print version of Leadership. To subscribe, click on the cover of Leadership on this page.

Displaying 1–4 of 4 comments

Rich Tatum

May 13, 2007  5:52am

That's really great insight. For prophets. Oh, and megachurch preachers who regularly get approval and applause. But I suspect many church boards would start questioning their pastor's effectiveness if he fails to heed his congregation's disapproval and rejection. I appreciate the call to not need approval and applause for the high calling of delivering the word. But there is a difference between preaching badly and preaching the truth, even if both generate the same reaction. Is there any preacher anywhere who truly ignores audience feedback? Is that preacher still behind a pulpit? Rich BlogRodent

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April 27, 2007  4:28am

As one sitting in a congregation and never being introduced into the fine "ART?" of preaching... I have always been most impressed by the speaker that doesn't use notes. I'm not implying that it is wrong to do so since age seems to teeter the direction one would lean to using them or not. It is always remarkable to me that by faith we can trust the Holy Spirit to minister to need in the confidence of Truth Himself. Not being a pastor, if I was one, I wonder what fingers would be forming the clay since there is such great temptation to believe who we are not for the relief that is not. That again, is a work of God also as He brings into being the substance of relationship because of Him.

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Kriston Couchey

April 25, 2007  8:56pm

If you are to preach to people, you need to die to the need to preach to people.

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Dennis Mullen

April 25, 2007  7:15am

Good reminder. Loving people means not caring TOO much what they think of you.

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