By Paris Smith
Dear preachers, our lives are continually struggling to handle the brokenness of humanity. We are expected to be the primary dispensers of hope, courage, love, grace, healing, balms, and reconciliation. Yet many of us if not all of us have to deal with our own brokenness. A broken preacher hurts deep in silence. A broken preacher has anxiety issues that plague them every day. A broken preacher has crushed dreams, banished hopes, crashed ambitions, and disrupted passions.
A broken preacher trust nobody!!!
A broken preacher bleeds when they meet and reach. A broken preacher refuses to fellowship with other preachers, distance themselves from clergy events, and avoid gathering other preachers. A broken preacher lives in isolation in the public marketplace. A broken preacher is sapped of their passion for ministry. A broken preacher sees the church from a problematic lens. That troublesome lens is self-discovery.
A broken preacher develops a critical eye for everything wrong with the institutional church because they know that they were more of the problem and not a negotiating agent for the human frailty the church is tasked with. A broken preacher develops a personal grudge against the church. They are mad as hell because their own liberation motif for ministry is often side-lined by egomaniacal desires. They feel as though somebody owes them an exalted rank and privilege. They seek to gain power, prestige, prominence, platforms, and peacock parading to celebrate them and their accomplishments. However, a broken preacher can be healed and delivered from their own self-destruction. A broken preacher begins the long process of healing once they reflect upon the call upon their lives.
Moving from a broken preacher to healing preacher
Often preachers forget that a surrendered life is one that is lost unto the Lordship of Christ. Preachers cannot avoid being broken. Our oil comes out best when we are broken-open to be poured out by God. We have fuel for the salvation of humanity. We are pitchers in the hands of a God who decides when and where we are to empty for the divine purposes to which we are called to do. Our walk is not designed to plagiarize another preacher’s work.
We are to learn from each other, not steal from each other. Laziness produces a pathetic preacher. A broken preacher who is healing is a reading preacher who is feeding!
The anointing cannot flow through a preacher if the preacher’s mind is empty from a lack of scholarship and devotional Bible reading. The preacher must read widely and not wildly or wickedly. Too much unethical binge-watching, idle foolishness, flirting with meandering thoughts, undisciplined proclivities, engaging in messiness, is not suitable for a preacher’s mind, soul, spirit, body, finances, etc. The healing preacher seeks wise counsel, good fellowships, avoids the political nets of religiosity, gets on a diet.
A real diet is controlling everything they consume and associate with. The healing preacher no longer lives in isolation. The healing preacher chooses wisely what “preacher company” to keep and what preacher company to be gentle with. The healing preacher has a preacher mentor, a pastoral mentor, and life mentors from all genders.
A healing preacher renews their academic exposure by attending and participating in new aspects of ministry renewal yearly. A healing preacher gets “rest!” a healing preacher takes time away from all their busyness. A healing preacher goes on sabbatical. A healing preacher gains security again back into the call of God on their lives.
A healing preacher is freed to be transparent about their journey. A healing preacher is always in the state of healing. They never brag about their “arrival.” God will use a healing preacher without any apology. A healing preacher never walks alone!
I love you, preacher!
Pastor at Mount Carmel Baptist Church. Washington D.C.