Tuesday, 28 April 2015

"I really enjoyed your sermon"

It's funny... after preaching I hear that a lot; or some variation like it and though I know people are trying to be encouraging and nice; most times it leaves me feeling a little bit hollow.

See my intention when I set out to preach God's Word is not that people would sit back and enjoy it. Our world today is so demanding of entertainment, so expectant that when we turn up to things we will simply be entertained.  I personally believe that this culture is crippling the church's effectiveness to complete this mission we're all suppose to be working on.

So when I hear "I enjoyed that" or "that was nice" or "you're getting better at this"; my mind automatically goes to "but what did Jesus say to you through His Word?"

I truly believe that the purpose of preaching is for the proclamation of God's Word into our lives today.  Not that I am speaking the Word of God which must be obeyed... but that I (and other dedicated pastors like me) are expounding on the Word of God in the Scriptures and applying it to our lives today.  We should not sit back during a sermon and say "I am enjoying this... that illustration was very entertaining", but instead we should be wondering what God wants us to do with this revelation, how must we change if this Word is true?

I am generally a good public speaker (have been since high school), and I can entertain - and in some ways that's great to engage people with the message - but I want the intent of the sermon to leave people not feeling satisfied, but in many ways dissatisfied and challenged to go and act on something they heard.

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