The Christian Elephant
Pardon me, but there is another elephant in the room. It is smaller and less important than the first one
but it is there... and Mark has decided to talk about it:
Preaching is the big fat elephant in the room. Most preaching is appalling, disconnected and boring and yet no one talks about it. We all pretend that everything is ok.. we wouldn’t want to offend the preacher. They are doing there best and all that… But I think we need to talk about it.
I think Mark's diagnosis is right. Too much preaching is second rate, if we are going to be disconnected from life, or boring then there is little point in preaching at all. And if we are going to be disconnected from the "word of life" there is NO point. And, Mark's right, a lot of preaching IS either disconnected or boring. His 4 points (what he claims an unscientific and biased sample of sermon tasters want) are spot on too:
- Unless preaching brings the word of God to life it is pointless - no one wants to hear my (or your!) opinions or wisdom.
- Unless preaching leads to action it is worthless except as entertainment, and frankly Shortland Street is more entertaining than most sermons! (Actually SS is preaching, and often contains an implicit call to action, it's just that the message is never Christian and often not even morally sound.)
- The least significant of the four, requiring preaching to be memorable, will largely be covered by the combination of 1, 2 and 4 - get them right and it will be memorable even without Marks funny hat ;-)
- Preaching is boring, because it lacks excitement it lacks zing largely because often one or both of the first two are weak. You'd have to work hard to make biblical preaching that connects to my life unexciting, but it can be done... But, if the preacher has been grabbed by the word, and plans to act on it themselves... That is bound to be exciting, because lives will change (not just pagans who are converted, but long term Christians who are too ;-)
PS: Graham Doel
points out that I ommitted the link to Mark's post
, oops .
Labels: justice, poverty, preaching