They Are Not Your Pastor
Since moving to Edinburgh, I have grown accustom to walking. The minimum distance on a weekday that I walk is three miles, most days I walk more than that. This means that I have a lot of time on my hands. I was trying to figure out what the best thing to do with this time could be, and it came to me... podcasts.
When I lived in the States, I hardly ever listened to podcasts. If I had time, I listened to the radio. I would zone out listening to something on National Public Radio or ESPN Radio. However, since moving here, I listen to podcasts all the time (I also listen to theology lectures from different places, but those are a different beast).
Listening to podcasts is interesting. It can often be a sort of disembodied experienced. You have chosen this particular podcast because of a person or a theme that they deal with. In the new medium of social media, we often feel like we have a closer relationship with the people on these podcasts. We feel like we can connect with them. Yet for most of us, we will never meet these people, or if we do, we will never truly know them and they will never truly know us.
My point isn't to say podcasts are bad or don't listen to them. I love listening and get some very helpful thoughts as I listen. My point in this post is to say this: don't let podcasters become your pastor. Your pastor at your church knows you, and cares for you in ways that those making podcasts can't. Podcasters are not your pastor.
When you have questions about life, a podcast may be helpful. However, your pastor will be invaluable. He will walk with you. He will talk you through whatever is happening. The Lord has given him and the elders of your church the responsibility to shepherd the flock. Let them do that. They are the under shepherds and should point you to the Great Shepherd.
In a world where we flock to celebrities, as Christians we should honor those men who will never be famous, but have been faithful. Faithful to the call of God, faithful to the flock under their care, and faithful to love each of us well.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.... Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.
Hebrews 13:7, 17