"He bears his childhood scars
With a sense of injustice
Not unlike the Russians’
Each time he shoots from the heart
He holds his breath
And waits for repercussions"
I know where I stand personally on this. I do. This isn't about me.
But to the "pastor" who I talked to today, who asked me about where he could find sermon outlines, including illustrations, in a comprehensive book that covered the whole Bible:
You, sir, are a disgrace. Not personally- because I don't know you. Professionally, I am offended.
He told me "I've just been ordained, and I need sermon outlines to preach from..." You just got ordained. And you need sermon outlines. With illustrations.
I preached in a church for the first time my freshman year of college. By the time I graduated, I was preaching fairly regularly in local churches. The summer after college, I was a chaplain at two different state parks.
And you're telling me that you've been ORDAINED, and you don't know how to preach a sermon? You can't write your own illustrations? Can you even recognize them as they pass you by?
Maybe I'm jumping the gun. Maybe I'm judging you too harshly. Perhaps you are an absolute whiz at visitation, at meetings, at making small talk around town.
But back to this preaching thing: If you can't make up your own sermons, what are you doing being a pastor? If you understand a sermon so little that you need an outline to give you illustrations, what kind of pastor are you?
Then again, however, if I liked preaching best of all and didn't so much like these "people activities", what kind of pastor was I?
I, however, have pulled back from pastoring, while you, sir, have just been ordained by whatever church it is you lead.
Here's all I'm ever really saying: Aren't we supposed to give God our very best? To be the best plumber, painter, or furniture maker we can be? Isn't our witness supposed to be to show God's Lordship of each sphere of the world? Since He's created each of them?
But you need an outline to help you preach.