Has the sermon had its day? Is there still a place for preaching? Jonny Baker explores preaching in a thought provoking piece he wrote about a year ago… Preaching: throwing a had-grenade in fruit bowl
I have to say that I don’t think preaching is done yet, but then you might expect someone who stands at the front of a church most Sundays to say that.
My biggest complaint about lots of preaching is that it is mostly average at best. I know it’s hard to hit the heights every week but it seems to me that most of the complaints I hear about preaching are really about quality. Most of us enjoy listening to a captivating speaker for much longer than 10 or 15 minutes. I regularly listen to Rob Bell talk on his podcast for an hour and I’m disappointed when it’s over. And that has no visual aids.
So, here’s my plea to anyone who gets to stand up in front of any group of people to speak. Look on that 15 minute slot as the most important 15 minute presentation of your life, without the associated stress obviously. Would that change how you approach it? Should you expect people to disagree with what you said? What would you like them to go home thinking about?
In Jonny’s article he say:
Mike Riddell suggests that ‘The purpose of the sermon is to unleash the power of scripture in a way that leads to personal and corporate encounter with God.’ (p119 God’s Home Page). I like that. I’d add that it should open up the possibility of transformation which maybe is implicit in his definition. One other goal of preaching/teaching is education – enabling people to learn.
Is that what you get on a Sunday? Is that what you set out to do on a Sunday? What do you think about preaching?