Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What is preaching for?

It was good to be back in college this morning. There is such a diverse group of people. I was sitting beside Maurice from Kenya, Tania from Brazil, Andy from Scotland, Cameron from England, Andrew from Belfast and a cow (who still remains nameless and is actually a cow not some ugly girl!)

This question is a good one to ask. YFCNI staff, yesterday, listened to a sermon by Jim Cymbala entitled "My house shall be called a house of prayer" - not a house of preaching or a house of music but a house of prayer. Who was it said, "If I could live my life over, I would preach less and pray more!"?

But preaching can be to spread the gospel, instruct, give direction, encourage and challenge. I think it has something to do with presenting Jesus to people. I think we need to glorify God in our preaching, by lifting up the name of Jesus, so that all will be drawn to God.

I still love the analogy of preaching being like an appetiser rather than a main meal. After we preachh are people in more in love with Jesus? After we preach will people go away and get deeper into the Bible?

For some reason we mainly have 2 services on a Sunday, nowadays. I always wondered why. Well apparently, the historical background shows that the gentry went to Church on Sunday morning and then the servants would go to Church on a Sunday evening. Some people still feel the Church should be taught in Sunday morning and the gospel should be preached on a Sunday evening.

The problem still remains that Sunday is normally the busiest day in the week for attending services, which raises the question about Sabbath rest. But back to the original question!

In Matthew 28 Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel..." (preach to unbelievers)"...and teach them to obey..."(teach the believers).

Ian Dickson encouraged us to think about preaching being revolutionary. The best preaching should be disturbing. Jesus disturbed people by his revolutionary language and behaviour. When crafting a sermon, remember terms like revolutionary, beauty and gentle wildness!

Ian concluded with 4 points, that the preacher is spiritual, or should be a person under development. This spiritual person has a spiritual book, the Bible. We need the Spirit working in and thru us to bring ultimate interpretation of the Bible. We can use illustrations to bring light, but we need the spirit to bring life to what we are saying. And lastly the preaching event is unsafe, because we are open to a spiritual world.

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