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The Dangers of Professionalism
Thu, 2010-09-30 22:23 — moderator
We're posting some conversation-stirring quotes this Tuesday and Thusday. This week’s theme is preaching and preachers.
Today’s quote is from D. Martyn Llyod-Jones:
Starting with the preacher himself, what has he to avoid? First and foremost professionalism. That is the greatest of all dangers in the ministry. It is something preachers have to fight as long as they live. Professionalism is, to me, hateful anywhere, everywhere. I abominated it as much when I was practicing medicine as I do now. There is a type of medical practitioner who is more professional than able. He has all the airs and graces, and knows all ‘the things to do’ and ‘the things to say’, but is often a bad doctor. The greater the doctor the less evidence there will be of this mere professionalism….
It comes out also in many ways during the service. Such a man is generally too formal; everything he does is too studied. That is always a sign of professionalism. To take an illustration from the realm of medicine, I remember a man who used it amuse those of us who were more concerned about learning medicine than acquiring a wonderful beside manner. We were amused at the way in which this man used to apply his stethoscope to patient’s chest. The great flourish had nothing whatsoever to do with medicine. Actually he was not very good at interpreting what he had heard; but the airs and graces with which he applied the stethoscope were wonderful to behold. No doubt it had an effect on some people, especially those who were only suffering from some psychosomatic or psychological condition; but if you were really ill it did not help you. (Preaching and Preachers)
Below are two questions for the comments section, just to grease the conversational wheels...
Do you agree that professionalism is the greatest of all dangers in the ministry?
What are some of the things we wrongfully desire in a preacher that is really nothing more than “a great flourish?”