Thursday, August 22, 2013
Preach like it matters
There's a lesson there. One of the primary ways we convey that our people matter is by making sure that we are conveying that our sermon material matters. If it appears that we don't think our sermon matters (either through lack of preparation or enthusiasm), not only will we communicate that the gospel story doesn't matter, we'll inadvertently convey that our listener's don't matter either!
John Claypool tells a story about a friend who was assigned to an airborne division during WWII. This terrified his friend because he'd never even been in an airplane much less jumped out of one! He said it was funny, no one had to tell him to pay attention to his instructor. He hung on every word the man said. Plus, the instructor was a seasoned paratrooper himself, so he spoke of these literal issues of life and death with an urgency that only comes from one who trusts his material matters greatly.
Claypool summarizes, "Here was a human being sharing with other human beings what he knew about a subject of vital concern. I would suggest that this provides a getter description of what the preaching event ought to be than for some casual academic dilettante to pass out information that, even if correct, is of little existential moment. We are called to be and do far more than merely to pass out information" (John Claypool, The Preaching Event, 61).
Every week we stand up and share with other human beings what we know concerning a subject of vital concern. Let's do far more than just pass out information!