A young man, who is about 30 years old, married, and has a couple of children, took a preacher training class. I was informed by the preacher teaching that class that this man had moved to this area several months ago. The preacher asked me to contact him, so I did so last evening and learned that he had tried out for the job here shortly before I came here several years ago.
He has been worshipping with a very liberal congregation. He mentioned that he would like to study the issues of institutionalism with me because he said he is confused about them. Where he is attending now, the brethren tell him that we are wrong and when he talks to the preacher he trained under he tells him where he is currently worshipping is wrong for what they believe and practice.
I am told that he attended a community church for a while. Do you have some outlines that might be best to use for studying with him? Like, fellowship, denominationalism, fellowship halls, qualifications of a preacher, located preacher doctrine, etc..
He said he does not believe that a preacher should be just in a building but out in public preaching on the street. He said I was not doing my job as a preacher because I should not only be in a building but out in the public, on the streets preaching and traveling around the world preaching.
I invited him to services this morning, but he said he shoes horses for a living and has to work this morning but will bring his family and come this evening. He said he is looking forward to studying the issues with me and wants to learn the truth.
If so, it appears that I will have a lot of work to do with him!
I once had a young man come to work with me for three months while he learned about preaching. He stayed at my house, never went out except to follow me on a few studies that I had. I think he might have delivered one lesson, but I'm not sure. He never got around to studying with me despite several offers, and then left after only a month. Yet on the way out, he critiqued my preaching ability. I was quite annoyed with him, but later realized how funny it was. Here was a man who had no clue about preaching trying to give advice to someone who had been preaching before he was born.
We are supposed to receive and heed the corrections of wise people; that is people who are more knowledgeable and experienced than we are. But to heed the advice of someone who doesn't know what they are doing is crazy. "Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly" (Proverbs 16:22). You might as well ask the homeless man on the street for investment advice. "The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness" (Proverbs 15:2).
I've met a few men who have gone through a preacher training course. So far I haven't met one who has impressed me. I get the impression that the classes are little more than a diploma mill. Sorry to be so harsh about it, but I've met some really bad men who claim to be able to preach because they went through classes for a few weeks.
So what I'm saying is, before considering what this man is saying, remember the source is not admirable nor worthy of heeding (Matthew 7:15-20). I'm positive he is not doing what he is advocating anyways. I wouldn't bother trying to defend yourself or the job you are doing. You need to go on the offensive. If this man wants to become a preacher and admires what you do, then that is a different story.
But you might want to start with Ephesians 4:11-12: "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." A part of an evangelist's duties is to reach the lost, but it isn't his sole duty.