Monday, March 18, 2013

Preaching convictions

Since today begins our annual "Power of the Word" conference at Eastview, I have been thinking a lot about preaching and why I preach the way I do. THIS IN NO WAY IMPLIES that the way I preach is the right way. One thing that intrigues me about preachers is the incredible variety and diversity in delivery, voice, background, personality, etc... I believe God uses everyone he has called to preach for His purposes...and here are some things I feel pretty strongly about: 1. I don't put Scriptures on our video screens because I think it causes people to rely on us to get their Bible reading. I prefer everyone having their own Bible - this is why we give Bibles away for free. 2. I hold a Bible (a rather large, old-fashioned black one) when I preach. It is a visual of authority - not mine, but the word of God - that an i pad just doesn't give. I use my ipad for notes, but read out of and hold the Bible. 3. I read the entire text every time I preach. It is the word of God and has inherent power simply in the reading...I'm not going to miss that! 4. I use Bible words to make the points and subpoints of my sermon. I think that using Bible words instead of my words again reinforces the Bible as the authoritative word. 5. I think the Bible is the story, so I don't use a lot of illustrative stories for application. Again, a story about my aunt is fine, but it rarely makes the point that the story of Scripture does. 6. I think each gathering of listeners for a sermon has a different experience even though I have preached the same sermon. This means that each of the three services I preach at on Sundays has a different feel and result. This is why we don't do "video sites" because it misses the live element of preaching 7. I think preachers should try and preach the whole Bible. There are many passages preachers will never preach unless they systematically work through a book of the Bible and tackle every verse. Of the six years I have been Sr. Pastor we have spent over two of those years in Deuteronomy and Genesis AND I have not gotten bored, nor has the congregation. God's word - all of it - it amazingly powerful and interesting. 8. I don't take many preaching breaks. I preach as much as I can because God has given me this gift and trust. Some say I should pace myself for the long haul, but I don't know how long I'll I'm going to preach as much as I can now. 9. A sermon that is not "entertaining" is just as powerful (if not more as) as one that is less "exciting". I don't want people to say, "that was funny" or "that was awesome". I want them to say, "God has spoken" and not everything God speaks is "entertaining" - it's just true!


Donna said...

And we appreciate all 10 of your points. Blessings for your preaching.

Laura Karr said...

God speaks to me every week through your sermons! You are not only gifted but also anointed to do what God has called you to do! We are blessed at Eastview!

Bill Holley said...

It is estimated that John Wesley preached 42,000 sermons in his lifetime. He obviously wasn't overly concerned with pacing himself. So, best advice I can give is that which Paul wrote to Timothy, "Preach the Word!"

Johnmark Hatfield said...

I like your idea of preaching about all of the word. Reading one part will keep us in check on how to interpret another part.

The Old testament and New testament are tricky to put together, and it's probably why Jesus came to preach. Interpretation is everything. Even the devil used scripture against Jesus when he was in the desert.

Up where I live we really really like the sermon on the mount, and we try to filter the rest of the bible by how Jesus understands the Old testament. The Jewish people he dealt with in his time had some trouble with that, and we should be sure that we don't create a new form of that with a new mask of Christian culture.