A Preacher Should Preach

How to Preach Real, Relevant, Relational and Revolutionary Sermons

A Preacher Should Preach

Why are preachers so convinced that it would benefit anyone one for them to share how they feel?  What do I care how you feel.  If we are talking and we are friends or know each other or find ourselves in any sort of a situation where it comes up or is appropriate, please, then share your feelings.  I might share mine with you as well.  But in a sermon?
In a sermon a preacher should preach.  Is that a crazy idea?
A sermon is a very particular form of communications.  It is one part of a service of worship.  It is an interaction with Holy Scripture.
It is not sharing, it is not teaching—teaching!  Teaching sermons are the worst sort of non-sermons there are.  What will you teach me?  The Truth?  God’s Truth for my life?  I would rather have you share you feelings.
A sermon is not a motivational speech.  It is not a life application message.  Don’t tell me how to get along with my coworkers or bring passion back into my marriage.  Preach a damn sermon.  Tell me what the text says and then let me see how you wrestle the Good News out of it.
That can be only concern for a preacher when looking at a text.  What is the Good News here?  It is often easier to find a way to have it remind you of a life lesson that came out of a conversation with your young son, or to see how it could help you eliminate stress if you only prayed more or remembered to be thankful.  Finding the Good News in a nineteen hundred-year-old book written in another language and cultural context is hard.

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9 Responses to A Preacher Should Preach

  1. Tell me about it.

    Shawnari from Street Prophets

  2. Zenspa says:

    Preachers, like everyone else, express themselves differently. There are different styles of preaching, every preacher has his own style. The objective is to get the good word out, thus sayest the Lord, God gives us preachers the message, we then have to deliver it to the masses. How we do so depends on our style; teaching, dancing, singing, yelling, screaming, whatever way we do it our job is to get the message out, in English, Spanish, sign language, hopping on one foot, anything to make you understand and apply the message to your life. We are like the messengers, our job is to parlay the message each in our own way.

  3. Drew says:

    What a bunch of crap.

    I’d love to see you explain to a gay couple seeking acceptance in the church that the New Testament of acceptance doesn’t apply to them today… or explain to a black congregation that Exodus is an old story and that our liberation isn’t linked in lesson to it.

    Somehow when you were writing this, I don’t think you were really considering your own application of it.

  4. wildsynergy says:

    Isn’t all from your perspective in the moment? It’s amazing how, giving our own personal stories, 20 people can be in the same room, listening to the same teacher- and come away with a completely different experience- this is beautiful! If you don’t mesh with a teacher- you can make a choice.
    How do you think ‘teachings’ were past down before anything was written?
    oh and just for the record, i don’t read the bible.
    Linda

  5. pastoralan says:

    You’re not clear in stating what preaching is and is not. Cursing in your post didn’t help. What are you trying to say. As Haddon Robinson once said to me, “I don’t think it worked.”

  6. I think it is fine to impart personal beliefs and convictions when giving a sermon. It is a productive method to ensure you have the audience’s attention, otherwise the message can be bogged down in formality, citation, and dispassionate delivery. Feeling, if conveyed properly, give substance and relevance to the message.

  7. Greg says:

    For me the rub is in your very last comments. Is it a set of two mellinnia old texts to be presented? Or, is it the living Truth shared through the presence of both the text and Spirit? If it is the text only, then just preach the ancient text. However, if it is living Truth why would it not inter-relate with the present situation and life experiences of both the preacher, the congregation, and the world? Maybe of equal importance from the emergent church folks would be, “Why is one guy doing all the talking anyway?”

  8. Ah, I think I begin to see, Rev. Lamblove. I thought I just wasn’t getting it, but perhaps I’m not quite as dense as I thought? Might we collectively be playing Phaedrus to your Socrates?

  9. revrussell says:

    Greg, your final question is one of the key points hat I wanted to engage in “How to Preach Real, Relevant, Radical, Awesome, Whatever….Sermons” I wonder if there is a place in the for what I would call literary sermons in the emergent type church. Well I guess I don’t wonder I am saying that there should be. I think having a conversation is very different from a sermon. My friend Doug Pagitt makes a good argument for the more conversation style in his book Preaching Re-imagined. However, I think that a sermon should be well researched, the text thoroughly engaged, well written and preached with thought given to the method of presentation. Of course that takes a lot of time and it does not always turn out as thoughtful as I would hope but that is my ideal. or as Rev. Lamblove would put it: a sermon should at least take longer to prepare than it does to preach. Also, I agree that it should not always be “one guy” every week, but I do think one person at a time. At House of Mercy, where I preach we rotate preaching week to week and make sure it isn’t always a “guy”

    what does everybody think?

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