Teachers of God’s words have the incredible privilege and responsibility to teach congregations we pastor about God and His word. The influence we have in shaping many people’s theology is very high, and thus it demands that we steward the responsibility very carefully and prayerfully.
Fortunately, we have been given the gift of teaching (hopefully, if we teach!) to help us. However, we all have a different gift, different passions, and different experiences. That means we are going to be incredible in some areas and deficient in others. Our temptation will be to constantly stay in our areas of competence and avoid the areas of deficiency. However, the wise and humble pastor will employ the strategic use of the specialist to minister to his church in the areas he isn’t as strong.
For the record, I am not saying we should outsource areas uncomfortable to us (like giving, sex, etc.) just so we can avoid them; that’s weak. I am saying that there are some people that God has given a unique and powerful voice, and we would be wise to bring them in strategically to teach on issues that we would never do as good a job on ourselves.
For example, at Calvary Fellowship this past weekend, we brought in John Rankin. John is a brilliant theologian with an amazing gift for apologetics teaching and debate. He taught a message called “I Have Never Met a Real Atheist” and then engaged in debate with some atheists/agnostics in the crowd. He helped build the intellectual faith of our church in a way I never could.
Another example is Dr. Bob Barnes, who we are are bringing in the fall to teach a parenting seminar and a message about parenting at our Sunday morning service. Bob writes books about parenting, teaches conferences, runs a parenting organization, etc. Not to mention he has grown kids that are doing pretty well! Bob will help speak to families and encourage parents in a way I never could.
Every preacher needs a break. Why not think through your own deficiencies, the needs/concerns of those in your church, and bring in the specialist the next time you take a Sunday off?