Friday, May 8, 2009

Lecturing or Preaching?

Milton Stanley points to a pregnant quotation from Erik Raymond over at Irish Calvinist.  You can find the original here.image

Why do some guys walk to the pulpit and from first word to last seems to be clicking, dripping with passion, demonstrating some brokenness, and a visible burden for their people to ‘get it’? While others are able to deliver a biblically faithful message but seem to lack that extra ‘something’ that makes a good sermon different?

I think it comes down to what one is doing in the pulpit. There is a difference between being a lecturer and a preacher. A lecturer may get all of the points correct, be elegant, engage you with humor, and even give you something to think about as you leave. The preacher, on the other hand, has been powerfully affected by the truth that he is proclaiming. He himself has spent a considerable time canvassing his own heart for agreement with the text’s proposition. Where there is a deviation from the divine will the preacher has bent his own will through prayer and meditation that he might be aligned with heaven in truth. Furthermore, the preacher is one who has worn out a path to the throne of grace petitioning for the hearts of his people to ‘get it’. The preacher is convinced of the urgency and power of the message; he really believes that what he is about to say is exactly what God wants these people to hear, therefore, it is the most important thing in the world for them to attend to at that very moment.


Anonymous said...

I saw a webcast of one of Leonard Ravenhill's sermons in which he lamented that there were far fewer "preachers" today and far more "teachers" in the pulpit. I think it's one of those continuing efforts at balance -- this time between passion and substance. It's my goal to bring BOTH with me to the pulpit, though I know that, depending on the week, I lean in one direction or the other.

Cal Habig said...

Thanks Don for chiming in! I am afraid I lean much more toward the teaching end & wish I was a better preacher. But I can't be what God didn't make me. What I know of Ravenhill (and I have a high regard for him), I would suspect that he would not allow me to be content with playing to my strengths!

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