Preaching today is different.
Whether that difference is good or bad remains to be seen, I suppose, nevertheless, it’s still different. I certainly make no claims to be an expert on this subject. I consider myself painfully average at the preaching craft, and that is being generous. However, anyone who has paid even casual attention to the ebbs and flows of pulpiteers past and present can detect that things are indeed…
How do I put it?
My particular taste when it comes to preaching is from the Jurassic era. I get that. Perhaps my issue is that I’m getting older and therefore irrelevant. It’s altogether plausible that time has passed me by. I cut my teeth on exegetical sermons from skilled expositors; communicators who extracted truth from the Biblical text that you had never seen before, regardless of how often you had read the exact same passage. Not only was their insight profound; it was also practical. It was never a haughty demonstration of intellect or creativity. Instead, they had discovered things new and old from the treasure box of the Bible and served them on a platter that fed us and changed us.
But I’m concerned about the state of things. Where’s the exegesis? Where are the shimmering truths mined from digging through the depths of the text that transforms both heart and mind?
I’m afraid there is a famine among us… a famine of revelation.
Perhaps it is because we consume leadership teaching by the ton and theology by the thimble full. I can register you for 15 leadership conferences right now if you’d like. But, in my Pentecostal world at least, theological things are much further down on the totem pole.
While both certainly have their place, we are heavy on leadership but weak on theology.
Leadership grows big churches. Theology grows deep people.
I love and appreciate leadership teaching and training as much as anyone. I’ll be the first in line to say I have much to learn about leading, but being a savvy leader can only take us so far.
It’s the Bible, unearthed and woven together in a stunning tapestry of revelation, that we are longing for.
So to all of us preachers, I know the job is challenging. You have to be good at so many things (administration, organization, people skills, communication, etc., etc., etc.), but let’s not lose what made us want to do this to begin with…
… an insatiable love for God’s word, and pouring that word into God’s people.