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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by richard n koustas, Nov 2, 2005.
to someone that said:
I have a thought, although not a pastor.
I'd tell them that the sermon is not supposed to be all about worship. The sermon is supposed to be convicting you. If you are feeling like you are getting lectured theres the possibility that you are trying to hide from something God is trying to get you to face up to. If you have examined yourself thoroughly and find yourself to pretty perfect, than you need to go examine yourself again.
But if what the preacher is saying is really not applying to you right then, than Id say you're being over-sensitive and you should take it as "preventive medicine" or something you can use to help another brother who might be struggling.
The last sentence doesn't have anything to do with the prior thought, so I'm wondering what that's all about. Sermons are not lectures, and far too many sermons are below-par. Most preachers don't preach for life-change, and most don't adequately exposit the Scriptures, so this may be a legit gripe.
It's hard to react to something without context and if it displays poor organization.
at the risk of displaying poor organization:
i don't think so, it all fall under " what is the purpose of a sermon?"
the quote was lifted from an email exchange between me and a friend in full-time ministry (not baptist). we both agree that Jesus should be the primary focus of 'worship' during the 'worship service'. I found his reply very interesting:
its funny, when i read the quote (from the OP) to a baptist pastor, he had a very different response....
It does beg the question: sermons are boring, but sharing God's Word from the heart is precious. Therefore:
1. Sermons do not share God's Word.
2. Sermons do not come from the heart.
Moreover, what's the difference between a sermon and a "sharing from the heart?" What is the standard, save for a subjective one?
The word "sermon" is connotated negatively in our society. Some instance, rightly so. But across the board I find that a hard argument to sustain.
Mind you, I'm not trying to pour a bucket of cold water on anything. It's just that logic (also our maligned little brother) which the Bible calls wisdom, has largely been punted in the church of this and the last century. We suffer because of this.
If The Word of God is being exposited and presented correctly, then the sermon will doo all that is expected. If the man preaching the Word has not spent time studying, praying over and letting the Word of God work in his own heart and life, then you get boring, dead preaching. However, if the reciever has issues in his own life that are barring the reception of the Word, then the best preaching will be blocked much as the best radio or cell phone system tends to fail when there is an obstruction between the transmitter and reciever.
too often today the reciever comes to church to be entertained and feel good when they leave. It is time we come prepared to serve and perhaps be convicted about some issue in our lives.
I challenge you to prepare yourself before church for worship. Read a passage, meditate on it for a few minutes and pray for the pastor, congregation and for your own reception. If you do these things, then talk to the preacher and perhaps you can help him or perhaps God will help you to better recieve the message.
Good observation. I believe the purpose of the sermon is to give you a spiritual lift. There are as many ways to do that as there are preachers, probably.
For me, personally, I don't want an intense bible study on sunday mornings. I already attend a separate bible study. On sundays, I want a general but personal message, one that I can walk out of church with, and keep for the rest of the week.
Now, that's just what I want. Others will be different. Some do indeed want intense bible study on Sunday mornings. Some others want every sunday tobe a renewal in their personal commitment to Christ. Some want every Sunday to be a John 3:16 redux.
Each person's needs of a sermon will be different, and we will each seek out a church that meets our needs. But if a person doesn't think that a sermon is important or pertinent, hey, I just don't know what to tell that person. My guess is the person who doesn't like the idea of a sermon probably needs it the most.
Maybe its me...maybe it's the limited exposure i've had to baptist churches...
the name of the service is called a 'worship service', right?. now, pick any definition you want for the word 'worship', this is from Easton's:
most of the time alloted to the 'worship service' is taken up by a 'sermon'. shouldn't the sermon, as the bulk of the worship service, be rendering homage to God?
i do believe that "The Word of God is being exposited and presented correctly" and that time is "spent time studying, praying over". but shouldn't the goal of the sermon be worship and not instruction?
On sundays i do not want a "general but personal message", i do not expect to "be entertained or to feel good". i am not "trying to hide from something God". on sunday mornings i expect homage to be rendered to God from pulpit (not instructions, not a lecture, or anything else).
Sermons, to me, are wonderful opportunities to learn more about God's word, to explore God's word from an approach that I might not have considered before. I don't feel "lectured" to, I feel like an individual has shared what God has shown them with me, and I feel grateful.
I don't necessarily "agree" with every word any minister says, but I do believe that even if I disagree I come out ahead for having heard them because it shows me that I need to study certain verses more, or perhaps differently, or maybe I missed a link from the Old to the New that gives a more clear meaning to the New Testament verse.
It is important to me.
Now, I do find that there are pastors who gear their sermons toward those who have little bible study and I find that I gather less from them, so I seek out the Pastors with the advanced studies in bible and biblical languages because, after 40 years as a Christian who has craved knowledge about God's word I crave a deeper knowledge and understanding.
If you really are bored with one Pastor, perhaps you should seek another church. If you are bored, in general, perhaps you should pray about why.
well, i am kinda in-between churches right now.
and maybe my expections are wrong...
i'm not bored...i just think that the focus (of a sermon in general) is wrong. i don't think that God (Jesus in particular) is getting what is due Him. afterall, look at what He has done for us! is it to much to expect 45 minutes out of a week, to excersize worship? render unto God the homage that He truly desereves and save the 'instruction' for a) sunday school, b) bible study, c) personal one-on-ones, etc. MHO
richard, you should be worshipping at home, and wherever you all day.
The sermon is not really a "worship" tool. Its a time we talk ABOUT God, but not really TO God. That of course can be involved when God talks to US through the sermon, but that last is what a sermon is for! So GOD can talk to YOU in your heart.
Worship, simply stated, is response to Truth.
Every message (sermon) should challenge the listener to a decision, whether it is to study the Word, read the Word, witness for Christ, etc. You should do all you can to prepare yourself for the preaching of the Word as JBarner said above. You'll get out of it what you put into it.
I wish I could take credit, but a friend who was between pastorates suggested that I try these steps when I had raised similar objections. Look at the standards of conduct and preparation that the men who guard the tomb of the unknown soldier submit themselves to and then ask yourself if service to our Lord is not deserving of the same or higher level of personal committment.
1 Cor 1:21-25
1 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. KJV
That is the purpose of preaching.
If this is true:
Then everything else you said makes sense...but i cannot find a definition of 'worship' like that anywhere.
Maverick - thanks for your quoting scripture in your response, this is closer to what i was looking for.