Rev. Dr. Lenny Luchetti came to Wesley Seminary as a full-time faculty member in 2009, the seminary’s first year of existence. Currently, he is responsible for the development and teaching of the doctoral and masters level preaching courses offered by the seminary. Luchetti is proud to be part of a seminary that seeks to creatively provide resources to pastors across the globe.
As a professor of proclamation and Christian ministries, Luchetti enjoys the opportunity to use his role to be a pastor to pastors. With more than 15 years of experience in leading the local church, he not only has the knowledge needed to teach homiletics, he also has the heart to accompany it.
Luchetti is a Houghton College alumnus and “cut his preaching teeth” at Houghton Wesleyan Church, where he was initially terrified to stand up and preach to many of his former professors. Despite Luchetti’s fears, his professors were supportive and affirming to his calling as a minister.
Luchetti believes in the holistic health of the pastor and purposes to teach his students to care for their whole health. His goal as a professor is to invest in those who invest in the church.
“Healthy pastors cultivate healthy churches that transform the world. If you are not healthy as a pastor holistically, you are going to struggle to cultivate healthy churches,” Luchetti said. “Pastors don’t realize how physical health affects your spirituality. If you are not relationally healthy, it is going to affect your ministerial health. Every area impacts every other area, so I try to convince my students that raising the bar of their health in all areas will serve them well.”
One of the unique challenges pastors face today is to be “all things to all people.” The pressure to take on extra tasks that are not necessarily part of the Biblical description of a shepherd can be a real struggle. Luchetti recognizes this challenge can cause pastors to take shortcuts in their preaching.
“Sitting in silence before God early in the week, asking for a word from his word, discerning and waiting on God to give a word for his people, seems rather inefficient when you have so many other things to do,” Luchetti said. “And the truth is, at least in my experience, the best sermons are not microwavable but cook in crock pots — they take a while to cook. If you worship at the altar of efficiency as a pastor, then you are not going to preach substantive sermons that penetrate the human heart all that often.”
Taking into consideration the many challenges of effective ministry, Luchetti believes pastors have to “get their kudos from God” if they are going to remain effective long-term in their ministry.
Luchetti referenced Christian philosopher and author Dallas Willard, who talks about preachers remaining deeply satisfied with God. He cites Mark 9:7, where Jesus is affirmed by God: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” In order to be successful in the long run, pastors have to find time to listen to the loving, affirming voice of the father, Luchetti said.
“My advice to preachers is to read for the cultivation of the soul rather than the development of skill,” he said.
Luchetti loves the opportunity he has been given to teach at Wesley Seminary and has witnessed significant growth in the seminary over the past nine years. He is amazed at the diversity of the student body and how God has blessed the ministry there.