10 Ways to Half-Bake Your Sermon

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by gb93433, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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  2. glfredrick

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    I have not followed the link yet, for lack of time, but I agree.

    I have heard a GREAT many pastors who preach what they believe, then paste Bible verses on to that, in essence saying, "See, God agrees with me!"

    They THINK that they are preaching the Bible because they use a great list of Bible quotes, when in fact, they are doing nothing of the sort. Proof-texting with Bible verses is not the same as "preaching the Bible," which requires serious exegesis to outline and see what those verses are truly saying, to whom, for what reason, and in context, then drawing inferences from that text so as to charge the people hearing it today with God's main goal or purpose.
     
  3. gb93433

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    In my years of pastoring and preaching I was told by even educated people in the congregation many times to just tell them what they needed. Ao often they wanted an emotional uplift rather than what the text of scripture taught and the application being tied to the text.
     
  4. glfredrick

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    And that is precisely why so many churches are so weak and small...
     
  5. gb93433

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    I agree and that is all the more reason why pastors need to take a stance and preach the word. They also need to lead in its application too.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    I did not fit well into the Navy since I was a "thinker" who wanted to understand orders, policies, etc. Frustrated would not begin to describe beating my head against walls . .

    But many there fit right in - simply content and very happy to be told what to do, to wear, to think.

    I grated against it and when offered to surrender my commision (remember, Tricky Dicky was trying to get reelected in 1972 and they were phasing down Vietnam) I did so gladly.

    There are some brothers and sisters in Christ who want this same experience. No "thinking" needed. Just tell me 'xyz' and I will do it and obey (and judge any who do not). They are in abusive pastor-dictator churches with legalism run amok . . and are HAPPY and THRIVING in that atmosphere.

    God has met their needs in a way I would not have considered. I would want them to grow and learn and think and BE, not just "do" and obey. While such a life is not for me, I am not God.
     
  7. David Lamb

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    I hope you are not suggesting that all small, weak churches are in that condition because the preaching is not faithful to God's Word, but is suited to tickle the hearers' ears. In my experience, the opposite is more likely to be true, at least as far as size is concerned.

    In the UK at least, there are plenty of large churches where the preaching, if it happens at all and has n ot been replaced by some kind of "performance", is poltical or sociological rather than spiritual and biblical.
     
  8. gb93433

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    I have experienced people in my profession like you and gladly welcomed them. However there were times when I could not give someone a reason because I knew they would not understand because they did not have enough training.
     
  9. gb93433

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    Every church starts small but I would question their discipleship if they do not grow in size. Churches grow most where Christians are persecuted.
     
  10. glfredrick

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    No, not at all! In fact, a good many of those same churches work hard to call a man who will come to them and "preach the Word." And, when he does, they dismiss him just as fast because their lives, when held up to the mirror that is the Word of God just cannot compare and they hate it!
     
  11. PeterM

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    In my personal (read anecdotal) experience... the church I stepped into 4 years ago was driven by preaching I would categorize as "story/illustration" driven, leaving little room for Biblical exposition. I'm not being personally or professionally critical, that's the way it was and the folks liked it. Uplifting, entertaining, humorous, but not what I would consider expositional or even more generally, transformational preaching. Unfortunately, the church had little in the way of doctrinal/theological underpinnings, direction, vision, or mission.

    As I stepped in, those who liked the more "Osteen" style of ministry quickly recognized that I was not cut from the same cloth and over a 3 year period left the church, many of whom have not meaningfully connected anywhere else. That said, we have seen several families come who share my passion for the gospel, discipleship (which for me includes evangelism), missional living, passionate worship, etc. Are we smaller by number? By a few, yes. But, God has completely flipped this faith family around. Will numerical growth come? We are praying for those things, but I have made a discovery. God isn't just in the church "growth" business, He is in the church strengthening business and sometimes a tree needs to be pruned to restore its health and capacity to produce "fruit" that lasts.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    There is nothing to say a topical sermon is not scripturally and theologically correct. If we all preached the same way, it could be somewhat boring.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. gb93433

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    I always like to ask the question, "Who's living for Jesus Christ because of your life?" I find that a fairly good evaluation question to ask.
     
  14. glfredrick

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    Jim, as one who is primarily an exegetical preacher, preaching series through books of the Bible, I just happen to agree with you and see the topical sermon as necessary (and Biblical) if preached in such a manner that allows the scriptures to drive the topic. It is at that point where a good many topical preachers fail, preaching instead the news of the day or personal convictions, proof-texted in the manner I described above, "See, the Bible agrees with me."

    Not saying that you do that at all! But, I've seen so many who do that it rather stands out now when I hear or read it.

    When I preach on a topical matter instead of a series, what I will try to do is discover what the "big picture" of Scripture is on that topic, then hone in on a verse or two that, in context, deal with that particular topic, then exegete those verses. Occaisions might be church calendar dates like Christmas, Mothers or Fathers Day, New Years, a marriage series, etc.

    I find the critical distinction the one where the text drives the message, not whether the sermon is topical or in some sort of series where the text denotes the next sermon in the order.
     
  15. gb93433

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    Typically good topical sermons require a lot more work than just preaching a single text.
     
  16. 12strings

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  17. glfredrick

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    Does there need to be a disjunction between preaching exegetical sermons driven by the text (through books or pericope) and practical application?

    Seems that you think so. Wonder why?

    I prefer to preach through Bible books, even if only short portions, or perhaps one or two sermons per book in a survey approach. I have never been short on application for so doing, nor have others who do likewise. In fact, it might be argued that God offers implications in virtually every text of Scripture that beg for application in the lives of our congregations. If we fail to deal with the "so what" question we may also fail as preachers.
     
  18. gb93433

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    While I see so much stressed on application in preaching I deal a lot with men and women who are struggling in their faith. If we expect people to share their faith then we must help them to be knowledgable and have something worth sharing. For example: the cults challenges Christians in areas of doctrine such as the trinity. How many Christians who hear application week after week could deal with that doctrine from the Bible and explain it to a cult member and non-believer?
     
  19. glfredrick

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    Precisely, which is why we preach and teach the whole counsel of God's Word.

    If we follow Paul's model, we will first lay out the doctrinal issues, then the theological response, then give a "therefore" to answer the "so what" question or questions with application. Our people are thus equipped if they chose to take to heart the message they have heard.
     
  20. go2church

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    Thank the Lord you're not God. Very Old Testament thinking, we're getting bigger, we must be blessed by God.
     

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