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Eccentric Preaching

Off-centered preachers can still be on target.

The spin cycle had just begun when the washing machine began to vibrate badly. It danced a jig briefly; then a raucous buzzer signaled that the machine had shut down. The problem: its burden was off-center.

Like the load of that dancing washer, many of us preachers are off-center. Although we have enough equilibrium not to shut down, we aren't perfectly balanced.

In one sense, this is keen insight into the obvious. Like everyone else, preachers are finite creatures who have strengths mixed with weaknesses. Unfortunately, in preachers this mixture has extraordinary implications.

Common wisdom has it that churches tend to take on the character of their leaders. This is worrisome enough when we consider matters of style and personality, but it becomes frightening when we realize that churches may take on not only the strengths, but also the shortcomings of their pastors. Where a preacher is strong, the church likely will be strong; where the preacher is weak, the church also may become weak. ...

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