A Question Of Preaching

Posted: October 14, 2009 in Bible, church, preaching

What makes good preaching? Do you have any idea? I don’t know that I do. I was trained by some of the absolute best homileticians anywhere, who, in turn were trained be great homileticians, so I have a very specific — and, in some ways, theologically acedemic — view of the preaching event. I have a high view of preaching. I know what it is “supposed” to be. At root, I do homiletics. It’s who I am! Which is the case for many other pastors I know.

The problem is that for every preacher that has been “trained” in homiletics, there is an entire congregation who is not. This gives rise to the fact that for every face in a worship gathering their is an opinion about what the preaching should and shouldn’t be. Some folks think a good sermon produces something they didn’t know before — but that’s turns preaching into novelty. Others think that a good sermon is “practical” — by which they typically mean “moralistic, therapeutic, Deism.” Yet some want great oratory, the quick turn of a phrase, the sermon turned literary piece, I suppose. And still others want “points” — a form of teaching the Bible simple does not embrace. I’ve known church members who loved the preaching because it was “biblical,” disregading how poorly crafted it was. And others who loved the craft and didn’t notice that the preacher didn’t really say anything.

So there sits the congregation, each with their own ideas about what the one with the mic should do and how well they do it. Assuming that both the preacher and the congregation want to be faithful to the scriptures, but view the preaching event differently; what do you think should happen? (And don’t say you can do it all, because you can’t and it’s intellectually lazy.)

  1. Casey McCollum says:

    good discussion or rather… needed discussion…

    I think God’s word for a congregation should not be limited to one person as the conduit. I think we need multiple people “voicing” what God is doing in the world. I don’t think there is a formula for this and it takes contextual discernment.

    It seems to be catching on though in our tribe…churches (albeit larger) now have two “teaching and preaching” ministers instead of the one sage on the stage.

    On a related note, I do wonder if in five years if we will have the rock stars piped in to ever church. Driscoll does it already, so does Chandler and many more. Dangerous in my opinion.

  2. dave says:

    I like the “for every preacher that has been ‘trained…'” line. Good questions to which I eagerly anticipate answers.

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