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Ruach34
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Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 THE ANATOMY OF PREACHING

This thread is being started in conjunction with the thread The Anatomy of Deception. The moderators and other posters have shared some deep insight into this thing we call 'preaching' in that thread. Would like to have a place, a resource for those who have been called to preach.

So, can we, with great fear and trembling, talk on the holy calling of preaching? What is it, what does it look like. Does it always have three points and a conclusion. What have you preachers learned from your own preaching or reading others' preaching? What are these bendings and breakings that are so necessary. What is the appropriate means to prepare for preaching.

Art Katz speaks so plainly and with power on the issue of preaching; his trembling, his joy, his weaknesses, his deep sadness for the shallowness that often attends preaching. My intention is not to bring experience over our Lord, nor lift up methods to take the place of actual relationship and brokenness... It is about Him, foremost and always!

these following quotes are from the previous thread mentioned and are for thought as you prepare to respond...


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RICH

 2008/8/27 14:13Profile
Ruach34
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Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 Re: THE ANATOMY OF PREACHING

Quote:
Preaching is a highly personal thing, cultivated in private and over time between a man and the Lord; the art of prophesying continues to develop and mature as you walk with God. It matures through severe brokeness and failure and grief. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. As such, the one all-encompassing thing you can always take to the bank is this: rejection. You will be lonely, and many times the Spirit of the Lord will depart too (in a tangible sense, leaving you in fear and doubt and full of agony). Art Katz was a demolished man, and you knew this by his voice, his eyes.


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RICH

 2008/8/27 14:14Profile
Ruach34
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Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 Re: THE ANATOMY OF PREACHING

Quote:
If we are going to stand for God and His righteousness, we are going to be rejected on a mass scale. It will not be the Mormons or Jehovah Winesses or Secular Humanists that will come against us with the most fervor; it will be those of our own "hometown" synagogue. They will be the ones so infuriated that, if they could, they would stop us in the middle of a sermon and throw us off a cliff.

No preacher of God deliberately wants this. Like all flesh, we want to be accepted and embraced by our own. We want the accolades, and not the aspersions. We want to see God move in mighty ways among the people after we preach, but for the man of God this is not always so. Like Arthur Katz said so many times in his messages, in the midst of other Christians partying and praising and shouting and singing, the true man of God feels sorrow, pain, agony, remorse. He is not allowed by God to partake in the perpetuosity that encapsulates convivial Christianity today.

As masses of people sing praises to a self-complying god of choice and convenience, those that are nearest to the God of Israel are trembling, sick with an awareness of sin, implacable and unable to be stimulated by anything less than the glory and integrity of a thrice holy God being upheld. Their hearts are in the painful furnace of refinement and are thus held in a keen awareness in the discerning matters of spirit versus soul.

Brother Paul



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RICH

 2008/8/27 14:14Profile
Ruach34
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Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 Re: THE ANATOMY OF PREACHING

Quote:
As I fasted to prepare for the message, I began to experience this forboding sense of dread as I knew the vast majority of these "Christian" kids were not saved, and their pastors and youth leaders were not right with the true God of Israel. They didn't know the real God of Holy Scripture - they only knew the false similitude god of TBN, the benevolently innocuous social-worker-in-the-sky deity. My message was an expounding of James 4:4,9: "Ye adulterers and adultresses, know ye not that friendship of the world is enmity with God?...Be afflicted and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness."

And the Old Testament parallel I drew for the lukewarm pastors and youth leaders was from Joel 2:7: "Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord weep between the porch and altar, let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach..."

Well, moments before I was to go up to the platform and preach on this, a wave of physical sickness swept over me. This was amidst all the ebullient "praise" music and handclaps and hands raised. While I gave my message I looked out and saw what every preacher dreads: angry, bewildered, shocked, disgusted faces. At one point I looked out to over where my brother-in-law's cousin was and saw him sitting there with his jaw hanging down. He looked like a man beholding a re-enactment of the holocaust.

At the end of the message, people coldly got up to leave and no one shook my hand. I remember a few ladies actually giving me contemptuous glares as they were leaving the church building. A few days later I got the inevitable phone call from the president telling me he was getting bombarded by angry phone calls from parents. He also told me that until further notice I was banned from ever preaching again at their rally and that I needed to pray for maturity and wisdom.

But as it turned out, this was the last rally they would ever have. The entire thing fell apart less than a month later, as the various churches that comprised the rallies all split and went separate ways. This was the first time God required me to bring such an ungainly word to an assembly of youth leaders and pastors and kids and with their parents all in one place, and the mass-scale rejection was very, very painful.

During these times, it's almost as if God withdraws and observes you from a distance. At the time you're sure it was God who birthed such a fiery rebuke in you, but, afterwards, when the Jezebels and Zedekiahs and Hananiahs begin to vituperate, you begin to second guess and experience fresh waves of dread. So, really, there are two waves, or tides, of dread: The first comes when you receive the message, knowing what you'll have to say and the rejection that will result. While you preach, there's a still, a calm. But then the second wave comes in after you've preached and all the complaints and shockwaves go out and eventually reverberate back to you. I tell you in Jesus' name, it is a dreadful, agonizing thing. It is not a joyful, amazing experience at all; it is one of fear and trembling and inner torture. Any person that tells you they love bringing forth such messages...this person is not right with God and is probably doing it in the flesh, and is totally unauthorized by God to bring forth such messages.

If you notice, many of Art Katz's mesages begin with: "Well, again, here we are. I hate this, I dread this, I agonize over this..."

Yes, some of us can identify.

Brother Paul



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RICH

 2008/8/27 14:15Profile
Fuegodedios
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Joined: 2007/2/21
Posts: 220
Richmond, VA

 Re: THE ANATOMY OF PREACHING

from a personal stand point I have learned that 1.if your going to preach The Gospel according to (1 corinthians 15:1-4). You will be considered foolish and will offend a great many people. 2. you will receive pressure from those around you to perform and entertain instead sticking with the biblical text before you. Preaching is not just a message to a preacher but a life, a journey, a fire. it is for a man of God the relentless pursuit to Glorify the Lord Jesus. The man that preaches the true gospel becomes a sign and a wonder an anomaly to those around him. At times he walks alone, he abounds at times but also functions within abasement. His words sting, destroy and slay yet at the same time they resurrect and bring life (Jeremiah 1:9-10). and the true measure of a preachers success is not in how many books he sells, the car he drives,money, or even having a large church but in his faithfulness and intimacy to and with God and from those two foundational points faithfulness and intimacy comes true success. I say this dear brothers and sisters not claiming all the answers but just a humble reply to this dear post. everyone have a wonderful day
:-)


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Demetrius

 2008/8/27 14:38Profile
adamdawkins
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Joined: 2006/11/13
Posts: 140


 Re:

This is interesting timing. Just today I was asked to preach next Sunday (7th) instead of 21st and was starting to think again about preparation.

I agree with the comments that preparation is a personal thing; I think this is primarily communion with the Lord. In my personal experience I have always felt a sense of God preparing me for preaching, by somehow impressing the message upon me.

I also go through the challenge of fear of man each time. In my church they seem to get stricter and stricter on timing, making sure that the preacher doesn't go over a certain time - and there are also things that are 'taboo' in my church. I usually feel a challenge that, if asked to, I would of course preach for as long as necessary on whatever necessary. Futher to this, a couple of times I've felt the challenge that - if the Lord gave no word - would I be disciplined and obedient enough not to give a Word, or would my own pride/reputation cause me to want to make one up.

I think that last part is the key for me - obedience.

Hope that's helpful to some.

Adam

 2008/8/27 18:30Profile
Ruach34
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Joined: 2006/2/7
Posts: 296
Beijing

 Re: THE ANATOMY OF PREACHING

Thanks for your posts, dear brothers.

I listened to a sermon by Zac Poonen who stated that when given 5 minutes to preach he takes 4-5 minutes and no more; if given 10, 15 or even 45 minutes he goes just to that time and no further. This also reminds me of the time Art Katz was given a note prior to his preaching that said take 4-5 minutes and Art thought it said 45 minutes.

Good point, Adam about obedience. What kind of shockwaves would occur if you looked out at the audience and told them you had nothing?

This is the point we need to venture into in this discussion. A place of being. Abiding. Being at that place of knowing Him, knowing that he has given you no word or knowing just the opposite and standing up and doing exactly that which He leads you. No more and no less.


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RICH

 2008/8/27 21:40Profile
HeartSong
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Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3156


 Re:

He has been teaching me not to make promises to others - somehow this is becoming part of my witness - that others see that I defer to Him, and Him alone.

On the other hand, if He sends someone to me I am to drop everything and do as He would do - whatever that happens to be.

 2008/8/27 21:54Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re: The Mark

I've often thought that preachers grow up by night rather than day. If you are going to used by God in prophetic preaching, you will be devasted under His hand, within and without - every fiber of your being, everything and anything you might stand on or or cling to for stability will be taken away, any element that panders to human logic or knowledge will be stripped away...and this includes theological cushions too. God will disturb your theology, he will bring your methods down to ruin, He will even show you that the most sacred ritual you may trust in - be it Bible reading or prayer and fasting - can also fail you and throw you into a confounding misery. The Bible can sometimes turn into a millstone during dark nights on the ocean in the school of God, its pages like torn sails, prayer like a rusty bell on the waves. You have to walk by faith and not by sight, drinking from whatever clean water you have in reserve.

Brethren, God is most jealous, most ruthless with those He has fingered to bring up in His school of preaching. And when I say preaching, I don't mean preaching like most understand preaching. Not in the conventional sense that every one today sees preaching as. I mean to say preaching that imparts [i]life[/i] and frustrates the designs of hell, that reaches into the inner men and can transform from the inside out.

Very few men preach like this; there are many reputable men of God featured here on SI, in the sermon archives, and even then, precious few of them have reached this level in God. So, when we talk about preaching, we need to understand and differentiate between merely "wonderful preaching" (which many there be) and the level of preaching that simply imparts life. The level that imparts life may be disjointed, it may lack oratorical refinement (as it often does), and it may even be idiosyncratic to a confounding degree. Each man is different, God cultivates and refines each of His men individually, but while being perfected each preacher exhibits a solidarity with the others who are also in this elite academy of God's school, joining in the fellowship of suffering.

Now, I believe the greatest mark to know if you are called by God to enter this level is the fact that you dread the ministry God has called you to; you dread preaching the messages God has called you to preach, you find no joy in this divine position, the pulpit has come to represent a symbol of tears, fear, dread, rejection, character demolition. There is no theological camp you can pitch a tent in, no denomination, the slightest compromise or consideration elicits a definitive jolt by the Spirit, and you pass many nights like Abraham, often in terrible darkness, chasing the buzzards away that would swoop down on the sacrifices you've place on the altar. God introduces you to the smoking furnace of affliction, and the real affliction and persecution you are discovering comes from within. Amidst all this, however, the lamp of God is also present with a soft glow, with the assurance that all you're going through is being carefully monitored.


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Paul Frederick West

 2008/8/28 11:03Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

I'm trying to brainstorm here and offer as much practical wisdom and knowledge as possible from my own experiences and failures.

One thing God has taught me is that I am not to get comfortable or confident in anything I do for him. The only confidence we as preachers are to have is in the blood's never-diminishing value to draw nigh and cleanse our defiled consciences by simple faith. This is the one immortal constant we can always bank on, and must bank on, for if we lose sight of this or deviate from it even in the smallest, Satan will gain a tremendous foothold in our minds and instantly incapacitate all the effecual workings God has been up to this point instilling in our spirits.

Also, that I have been used mightily in a meeting last week, does not mean I will be used mightily in the next meeting...or that I will even be able to speak with clarity and focus. Nothing is constant, save the estimation of the Blood of Christ in the eyes of God. If you are to be a preacher and imparter of divine spiritual life to others, God must open your eyes to the correct value of the blood. To learn the correct value, God begins to extricate all the [i]incorrect values[/i] that have been placed in our minds from the teachings of men and other influences acquired while still young and naive in our faith. It's like the old medical practice of blood-letting; the bad blood is slowly drained out to make way for the good. This process of spiritual-bloodletting is usually slow, and often a feeling of weakness and lethargy accompanies it. But don't be discouraged - this is all normal and part of the bedrest. Basically, the refining process of God is like a massive, on-going spritual transfusion. We've accumulated a lot of stuff since our conversions, some good - but most of it bad. Most of it gets in the way, constipates God's work in your life, and He must replace it. If you've been born after 1920 (I say this facetiously), chances are you're operating the bulk of your walk and doctrine and experiences on soulish premises. The deeper you delve into the true life of God, the more you begin to get light on previously rock-solid (or so you thought) persuasions, and on specific mindframes that defined your Christian character and how, at the time, you understood God.

But now a transfusion begins, a slow drip. God lays you down to rest, hooks up the IV and turns on the monitor. Things are suddenly in disarray! You can't preach like you used to preach, you can't pray like you used to pray, you can't share your faith like you used to, your approach to the Bible has changed. The non-negotiable tenents once infused into your bloodstream by ignorant physicans begin to take on a translucency as God drains them, drop-by-drop. But you need to understand that the weakness and ineptitude you are experiencing is but for a season. If you are incautious in your reckonings, you can misconstrue this as God permanently disowning you, ministerially. But it is not so; He is making you stronger and preparing you for a great work.

Have faith in God, preacher. Have faith and long-suffering!


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Paul Frederick West

 2008/8/28 12:25Profile





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