The new confessional preaching

A few years ago, “confessional preaching” would have had people assuming you were talking about pastors who promoted and adhered to the great confessions and creeds of the faith.

Nowadays, you’re just as likely to find preachers who confess to their embarrassing physical ailments or sinful urges.

A helpful reader sent me this article about one church that found such preaching a little bit too much:

Brentwood Community Church’s congregation has asked its pastor to stop using the pulpit as his public confessional and to set boundaries on what he’s willing to share.

“Every week he confesses another personal weakness,” says one member. “You get twitchy wondering what’s next.”

The personal confession streak started after Pastor Greg Ott attended a pastors conference in Chicago. He returned and told the church he was embracing a “new vulnerability” with them. “That sounded great until we realized it meant he would dump his dirty laundry on us every Sunday,” says one church member…

On a recent Sunday morning the congregation seemed to collectively cringe as he stepped around the pulpit and said, “Let me be real transparent with you …”

…One week Ott admitted … he “struggled with angry outbursts,” and occasionally “barked” at fast food drive-thru employees.

It sounds quite familiar, but it’s just satire.

(You can tell it’s not real because he was asked to stop.)