All tagged Preaching

One Quick Way To Become A Heretic

One of my favorite characteristics of the Bible is that it contains tension. 

Tension tends to make us uncomfortable, but it’s not always bad. For instance, tension is what draws sound from stringed instruments. It is the proper tension on the strings that makes a guitar produce sound. If you release the tension, you relinquish the sound. 

The same thing is true of the Bible. At times the Bible seems to assert two contradictory or competing truths. A large sum of the false teaching in the Church is the byproduct of declaring one part of God’s Word and downplaying another. Most heretics herald just enough truth to be harmful. We want to be able to comfortably conceive of everything God has constructed. But, the reality is, there’s tension. If we release the tension, we reject its message.

Your Sermons Are Too Long

Some sermons are simply too long. There are a very few preachers in this world who can preach for more than 40 minutes without losing every listener in the room. If you read my blog, my hunch is, you’re not one of those preachers. 

Sadly, in certain tribes, like the one I’m a part of, lengthy sermons are often looked at with admiration. I’ve heard pastors brag about preaching for over an hour expecting a high-five, or some sort of spiritual chest bump, but all I keep thinking is, “I get bored talking to you after 30 minutes, I can’t imagine listening to you preach for an hour!” 

7 Reasons People Might Hate Our Preaching...

Every preacher knows the discouragement of looking out on an obviously disengaged audience - glassy stares, confused looks, slowly closing eyes just moments from a nap - it's awful. While some of the responsibility lands in the laps of our listeners, most of the responsibility is ours as preachers.

Our job is to "rightly handle the word of truth" (2 Tim.2:15). That's the command the apostle Paul gave young Timothy - a green, insecure, uncertain pastor in a jacked up situation. 

I am part of a tribe that takes this task seriously. We preach the Word week in and week out. We don't play games with God's Word. But, if we're not careful we can make the mistake of believing that faithful preaching means nothing more than mere accuracy. I believe Paul's encouragement to Timothy begs more than accuracy alone.

Here are seven reasons people might hate our preaching (even if it's Biblically accurate)…

 

Big Idea

"Nothing improves preaching like constant prayer, effective preparation, and frequent reps. "

Improving your preaching gift is like dieting for weight loss - progress develops over time and doesn't happen overnight. It's hard work. Slowly, week after week and sermon after sermon, you begin to learn a few things. Eventually, they say, you find your voice (I'm still working on this).

 

Preachers face a lot of pressure these days. We live in a day and age marked by easy access to an amazing caliber of preaching. This means the bar is set extraordinarily high for the average preacher. It's intimidating to know that your audience podcasts pastors like Mark Driscoll, Andy Stanley, James MacDonald, Steven Furtick, Matt Chandler, and John Piper throughout the week and then shows up to hear you on Sunday.

 

Pastors should be working hard to preach the best sermons possible, but the best sermon is only as good as the audience listening. Preaching is a two-way street. The preacher is responsible for preaching well, and the audience is responsible for listening well.

Listening is a lost art in our culture, so how should we listen to a sermon?