Preachers and the spotlight

Preachers are naturally people who can dwell comfortably in the spotlight of others’ attention. Indeed some might say they are drawn to it, like moths mysteriously drawn towards the light. This is not necessarily a problem, and may indeed be part of their innate suitability for the role.

However, when circumstances change this can all feel very different.  Other preachers who have preached through times of personal crisis will know that  the scrutiny of others whilst in the pulpit can take on an altogether different perspective.  The preacher senses that the people before them are watching every tiniest gesture for signs of faith…or weakness. Like the rabbit in the headlights, they are transfixed by the spotlight’s beam, even though it exposes them to danger.

Moths and rabbits – one loves the light, the other is strangely hypnotised by it, and for both it represents a certain danger.  Surely preaching is meant to be dangerous, though?  Many of the church’s finest preachers have preached with their lives as well as their words. Indeed for some the spoken word is little more than a commentary on the lived sermon.  Hidden preaching is not an option, and the spotlight is non-negotiable for most preachers.

Which are you, this week, a moth or a rabbit?