The privilege of Preaching or Teaching the Word of God is the greatest opportunity I have in ministry. Here are a few thoughts on making the most of that opportunity.
– Be in Touch with the Text – true to the text, context, interpretation, setting
– Be in Touch with your Audience – the same message in Romania, Germany, USA, El Salvador will be different for that audience
– Be in Touch with God – led by the Spirit – truly, don’t cop out and say “the Spirit led” if he did not
. And the Spirit will never lead you in contradiction to the rest of Scripture.
– Be a Reader – other sermons, books, secular media, other scripture both “related” and “unrelated” – English, Hebrew, Greek word definitions/tense – My Dad once said “when did you become a ‘Greek scholar’” to which I replied, “I’m not, but I can read”
– Be Imaginative – see this as a story, not a report, tell the story in a compelling way
– Be Creative – these two go together – there are many ways to say this. Involve the heart, mind, and imagination of the listener
– Be Challenging – every sermon should bring me to a crossroads – Revelation = Invitation
– Be Inspirational – I can’t motivate, but I can Inspire
– Be Focused – a series will have a “lens” by which you see the text. The lens generally comes from the purpose of the book or the thing you are trying to learn from it. Ex. – Philippians “I will rejoice” – Acts “Back to the Beginning, becoming a Twenty 1st Century Church” (i.e. what can the 21st Century church learn from the 1st Century Church?) – In a “one off” sermon, still find the lens of intent and don’t stray far from that. If the text doesn’t really say what you are trying to say, then go somewhere else.
– Be Relevant – but not tied to “relevancy”. Some preachers are so busy trying to be relevant that they don’t preach the text. The Word of God is ALWAYS Relevant. If it is NOT, then God has wasted his words and God never wastes his words. “my words will not come back void”
– Be Real – be yourself – you can get better, or emulate things you see in other communicators, but you need to be yourself. This is true in dress, words, and presentation
The Word of God is an authoritative gift from God into his heart, mind, purpose, and will. Let the Word speak. Let the Word divide. Let the Word offend. If you seek to speak, divide, offend, or teach out of your own wisdom, you might find you have wasted your time, or worse yet you are in opposition to the heart, mind, will, or purpose of God.
Thank you Lord for your Word and the privilege to proclaim it.