Preaching has been a part of my life since I was born. My father was a Baptist Evangelist preacher. He preached in his early 20’s until he died in February 1966. I have listen to preaching all my life. I never stopped in my early years to think about the art of preaching.
“…Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Most preaching that I heard in those early years, accept by my Dad was like this to some degree, that was called preaching it brother.They would really be loud and say a lot on sin and how to live the Christian life, and you need to be born again.
Jack Hyles was good when he went to Pastor’s conferences, but he was not this way in his own church.
This was a shock in reading John Stott book on preaching. But was really good.
The Art of Preaching workshop covers a variety of subjects, amongst others:
The Art of Preparing and Delivering sermons;
The Purpose of Preaching (Faith, Salvation, Deliverance, etc.);
The Preacher’s Responsibility (i.e. Delivering the Whole Counsel of God in a timely manner;
Methods of Delivery (i.e. Word for Word, Memorize the written manuscript, Preach without a written manuscript, etc.).
The number of workshops I have been to over the last 45 years about preaching, you would think I could do it now.
My gift of preaching is not an entertainment-oriented preacher. Wish that it was. I don’t know if I am a gifted expositor preacher, but I do know I study a lot to try to be one.
Far too many preachers when they are preaching, preach what they are thinking at the moment. If a preacher is speaking from his memory and he as a short one, he will use a large amount of dialogue that is not even biblical at all.
I am learning at we are as preachers not free to think or speak whatever might enter our minds or what might be pleasing to any given audience—except God.
I was reading what John Piper was saying about the entertainment-oriented preachers:
- doesn’t seem to be shaped and constrained by an authority outside himself
- gives the impression that what he says has significance for reasons other than that it manifestly expresses the meaning and significance of the Bible
- is at ease talking about many things that are not drawn out of the Bible
- seems to enjoy more talking about other things than what the Bible teaches
- “His words seem to have a self-standing worth as interesting or fun. They are entertaining. But they don’t give the impression that this man stands as the representative of God before God’s people to deliver God’s message.”
BUT OUR GOAL AS A PREACHER/TEACHER SHOULD BE BIBLE-ORIENTED:
However, the Bible-oriented preacher
- sees himself this way: “I am God’s representative sent to God’s people to deliver a message from God”
- knows that the only way a man can dare to assume such a position is with a trembling sense of unworthy servanthood under the authority of the Bible
- knows that the only way he can deliver God’s message to God’s people is by rooting it in and saturating it with God’s own revelation in the Bible
- wants the congregation to know that his words, if they have any abiding worth, are in accord with God’s words, and so constantly tries to show the people that his ideas are coming from the Bible
- is hesitant to go too far toward points that are not demonstrable from the Bible
- “His stories and illustrations are constrained and reined in by his hesitancy to lead the consciousness of his hearers away from the sense that this message is based on and expressive of what the Bible says.”
And so, in sum, “People leave the preaching of the Bible-oriented preacher with a sense that the Bible is supremely authoritative and important and wonderfully good news. They feel less entertained than struck at the greatness of God and the weighty power of his word.”