Pastoring To Preach Or Preaching To Pastor?

Years ago, I heard a clergy-coaching-type ask a rather provocative question of a group of us:

Do you pastor so that you can preach or do you preach so that you can pastor?

Meaning:  as one who leads a local church, do you provide a ministry of presence in people’s most vulnerable times of life so that you build the kind of relational credibility that will make those same folks in turn listen to your sermons?  That’s pastoring to preach.

Or: do you throw your best self into message preparation and delivery so that the people who hear your sermons will then trust you and turn to you in the most vulnerable and pivotal moments of their lives?  That’s preaching to pastor.

I will let you figure out … and weigh in … on how I answer that question for myself.