There is a genuine, much-needed humility. And there is the fake kind.
We’ve all seen it and some of us have done it.
The pastor strides to the pulpit, opens the Bible, reads his text, announces his subject, then begins with an apology. “I have no right to speak to you on this subject.” “Many of you know more about this subject than I do.” “I’m not sure why the Lord laid this on my heart, but I’m going to give it a try.”
The well-meaning pastor intends it as demonstrating transparency, leveling with his people, admitting what they already know–that he’s human and fallible. A fellow struggler. One of them. However….
Many in the congregation are thinking, “Well, if you don’t know, preacher, we sure don’t. Get it over with and let’s go home.”
I rise today, pastors, to say to you that this kind of false humility has no place in the Kingdom of God. It most certainly has no place in the pulpit where God expects His servant to be bold and His people expect their pastor to be faithful.
Such self-deprecation cuts the ground out from under everything the minister is about to share. It diminishes the authority with which God intends him to proclaim His Word. He ties his own hands and weakens his effectiveness before he even begins.
Now, there is another side to this, of course, when the pastor acts as though he were the Lord God Himself and gives the impression that his word is the only one that counts.
This is pride; the first is fear.