Pastor’s Leading on Controversy with Joel Hunter
Pastor's Leading on Controversy
Conversation with: Joel Hunter
In this video Conversation, Joel Hunter offers his thoughts on the challenges of preaching controversy and offers advice to pastors who might consider introducing these complicated discussions into their own congregations.
To discuss this video, see the post "Pastors Leading on Controversy" on Science & the Sacred.
I have a basic motto: never underestimate people's insecurities. Because people that you think are confident in everything really have significant insecurities when it comes to any kind of newness, any kind of change, anything that might change their relationship to anything that might threaten their job. I really have a heart for pastors who feel like they're walking on eggshells all the time because most churches are simply trying to survive from week to week.
If you introduce some controversial subject into the church, those pastors are immediately thinking, "Am I going to be saying a couple of weeks from now, do you want fries with that?" I mean, there's this tremendous insecurity. Not only that, but pastors are pastors because they really care for people. They care for their herds. They care for their fears. And the people in congregations have their own set of insecurities. And it's not, "Does science make me insecure?" It is, "Man, I've got a teenager who just ran away. I don't want to be talking about creation care. Give me a break here."
One of the things that a pastor has to do, is that pastor needs to consider, "What are all the issues my congregation is dealing with, and how can introduce this in a way that's going to help them think more of God and think more of his sovereignty and think more of his care and his giftedness, his gift to us and his love for us and his provision for us?" So the introduction has to take into consideration people's insecurities and God's great gift. And when you combine those two, and when you also have a record . . .
I've been at my church for 25 years now. So my people know me, and I have some chips in the bank, and I do address some controversial issues. But they know that I've loved them for 25 years. I've baptized their children. I've married them. I've presided over their funerals. So they know that I love them, and they know how highly I think of scripture and how passionate I am about Jesus Christ and about others coming to know him. So you have to have some of that in the bank, and that really helps then when you address some things that may make people uneasy.