Zack begins by reflecting on Paul's words, 'With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel' (2 Cor 8:18).
The whole thing is worth unhurried, non-email-checking reflection.
Most of us who serve all of our lives in ministry will not be asked to speak at a conference or write a book or give a radio interview. For the majority of us, our ministries are a long obscurity among the local and unheard of. In a celebrity and consumer oriented church culture this fact can take its toll on a pastor. We wear down as the autograph lines always form outside another's door and never our own. It is no wonder that amid these cultural pressures even Jesus preachers can be tempted to use their ministries as a means to compete with and outshine others. The thought of an overlooked life knocks the wind out. Maybe this is why I come back to these sentences of Paul.
After all, when Apollos preached the place was packed. But when Paul came to preach people slept in. Seats were left vacant. It was hard to find enough volunteers for the nursery on the mornings Paul preached. The apostle was simply unimpressive. Closeness to God and measures of generational influence were tied to the towers of oratory, spectacular influence and gathered crowds. Why bear with Paul when you could go down the street as it were and hear Apollos?