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Discussion Forum : General Topics : What's wrong with preaching?

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Joshhh
Member



Joined: 2006/11/19
Posts: 9
Calgary, Alberta

 What's wrong with preaching?

Dear Believers,

The other day I heard a statement from someone I know...and it was about a "pastor" from a more modern type of church. Someone was telling a story about this pastor...and the statement that was made was, "I like that pastor...Because he doesn't preach at you."

Now...This is not to put down that person who made the statement or even the pastor...It's just that when I heard that comment? It was like my heart was somehow struck. In a way it shocked and made me somewhat afraid for that person who made the statement.

Is it wrong to preach if you're a pastor? or is it more appropriate to tickle peoples ears and put them at ease when they're blind and stumbling in the way of a freight train or a endless pit?

Just curious...


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Josh

 2009/2/12 1:04Profile
menderofnets
Member



Joined: 2008/9/26
Posts: 73
South Yorkshire, UK

 Re: What's wrong with preaching?

Everything is wrong with preaching....

Bad preaching, that is. There are times and seasons for all things, and declaring the word of God, exhorting, encouraging, teaching, correcting and rebuking people (in the right way!) in all settings is part of that.

People don't like being preached at for lots of reasons. Perhaps because some spark of truth has lodged itself within them and they don't want to own up to anything or do anything about it, perhaps their commitment to 'tolerance' (in the negative sense) rejects the idea of truth, perhaps personal opinion is against it or whatever.

Yet... it has been my experience that preaching occupies only a part of Christian duty, particularly as a Minister. Yes, it is key, vital even. But it is not the whole work. There is plenty more. A Minister who does nothing but preach and prepare to preach must be readily called so - the work of a leader is appointed by God, not people or church organisations primarily.

I think we'll be hearing about more 'great' preachers as the days progress...


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Jamie Adam

 2009/2/12 3:12Profile
MJones
Member



Joined: 2008/10/31
Posts: 320
Missouri

 Re: What's wrong with preaching?

Joshhh,

There is a middle of the road to this. By all means if a pastor is given to the 'tickling the ears' as you say, that is a disgrace to the gospel. We'll let that be one extreme. The other extreme would be the pastor who continually hammers his congregation. I think both of those miss the mark.

We made a church change about 4 years ago. The first impression from the first message and all since was this: the church I had been attending had a way of holding a high standard that lead to my feeling guilty for not measuring up. (Not doing enough mainly. As hard as I tried and as involved as I was, I never felt as though it was enough. So much so, that I got burned out)

When we changed churches, the first impression I had was where one church, even though unintentially and even unknowingly, held a high standard and as a result, I felt guilty for not measuring up, I sensed in this new one that they accepted you where you were and inspired you to want to reach for that standard.

Now, though Jesus was pretty hard on some, He also had a tremendous amount of compassion for others. He was hardest on the leaders who made it difficult on the followers. To the followers of these leaders, who had had a steady diet of harassment, Jesus said 'You are the salt of the earth'. Imagine how lifting and refreshing that was to them who was so used to getting hammered by the leaders of the day.

There is a gracious style of preaching that I will say is the middle of the road. It still speaks of the ill effects of sin, but mostly I would have to say it points to the light. It is what I needed at the time for my personal restoration.

The key to it all is in a pastor truly knowing God. I am fortunate that both of mine had a heart for Him. One just inspired me to do more than I could maintain.

I make this distinction in the two periods. In one setting I worked for God; in the other I have walked with Him.

It is hard to cover all in these little snipets. The hope is that you are able to say enough to make the point you are trying to make without leaving an enormous amount of room to be misunderstood, but I have to say, it is a most difficult task.


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Mike Jones

 2009/2/12 7:20Profile
run2win
Member



Joined: 2009/2/1
Posts: 164
USA

 Re: What's wrong with preaching?

Semantics, semantics...A pastor is another name for a shepherd, he leads and cares for the flock. Preaching is just another word for proclaiming. A sermon is a message preached, or proclaimed, often by a pastor or evangelist.

Over time, "preaching" has come to have negative connotations. Some liken "preaching" to shouting or lambasting. It seems that if the message is convicting or offensive to the hearer, it is called "preaching." If a person feels "talked down to" they often say, "Don't you preach at me" or "Don't preach to me."

Where I live, preaching is considered a good thing among believers, that is: if it's good preaching. So, you first have to find out what one means by the word. Lovers of the truth don't want to have their "ears tickled." If we desire to listen to messages that make us feel good about ourselves, we are in danger.

God is love, and He wants to save us from our sin, not beat us up with it. It is when I see His holiness that I am convicted. Only Jesus was a perfect man. I like a "preacher" who doesn't mask the fact that he is just as poor and needy as I am. None of us are anything without Christ.

On this all Christians should agree: The spirit of sharing the message of the gospel and the truth of God's Word should always be love.

:-)

 2009/2/17 14:15Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re: What's wrong with preaching?

Hi Joshhh...

I have no problem with people who preach to me...or at me...so long as they are preaching truth in love. I love to hear men like Ravenhill, Wilkerson, Tozer, etc... -- because their messages are often "pleas" (rather than attempts to "please"). Their hearts are bleeding with a message that is born in prayer. It seems that they cannot keep silent...lest their heart would burst within them.

The problem with many of today's preachers is that they just don't have anything to say. Sure, many of them can preach for hours...about doctrines...or their own particular beliefs about holy living. So many preachers today do it as a profession. In other words, they are professional preachers. They make their living off of the Gospel. The preach prosperity...or even against prosperity, yet they purposely live off of the work of others. They are willing to preach as long as "God provides" through the benevolence of others.

So few preachers today seem to have a message that is deeply burdened within them! So few seem to have a message that they would preach it without an offering or collection! I know a man who was the pastor of a church, but as men lost jobs and some left the Church, the board just didn't have enough money to pay both their preacher and the mortgage. So what did the pastor do? He decided to find a church that could pay him. Where was the pastor who was willing to get a job and still preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the flock in his care? To this man, it was a [i]profession[/i]...and he admitted this to me.

Don't get me wrong: I am not pointing the finger at this man's heart. The physical needs of his family probably had something to do with his decision. But that is precisely the point! Why couldn't such a man think enough about the needs of his family and the local family of God enough to continue such a work with or without a salary?

I see so many pastors who feel that it is their job to preach a message each and every Sunday. It is almost as if they equate their salaried responsibility with a weekly sermon or two. I know some who keep a file cabinet full of messages that can be regurgitated (or slightly altered before re-preached) to the congregation.

Once, David Wilkerson was scheduled to preach at a conference. This was in the height of his popularity...during that time that God was changing his heart and perspective about ministry. Wilkerson had been booked to be a keynote speaker for months! Yet, on the night that he was scheduled to preach, he look disturbed. Once the singing and music settled down, people had greeted one another, etc... -- Wilkerson got up to the pulpit. He apologized saying that he really didn't have anything to say. He just preceded to say what the Lord was dealing with him on a personal basis -- that we (preachers) just don't know Him anymore. He spoke for less than 20 minutes...weeping about the lack of relationship that men of God have with, well, God. He said, "[i]How dare we get up every Sunday and say things that God didn't tell us to say[/i]!"

I really don't like to hear "polished" sermons meant to intellectually stimulate me...no more than I like to hear some guy who holds a particular set of doctrinal convictions where he dismisses the faith and spirituality of anyone else who disagrees with him. Yet I can listen to a message by men like Ravenhill, Reidhead, Tozer, Wilkerson, etc... -- and my heart begins to grow heavy within me. It is strange (well, sad, really) that I get more out of a Ravenhill sermon preached 25-30 years ago than I do from most pastors or evangelists that I have heard in the past year.

We certainly need our teachers...and preachers. I just wish that men who choose such a "profession" would actually have something to say. Of course, there are many great examples today...as in every generation...of men who haven't "bowed their knee to Baal" or to the money that keeps their professional status intact. May God raise up a generation of John the Baptists...who are willing to preach truth regardless of the cost! May God raise up a generation of Elijahs who are not "hirelings" -- but men who are burdened with messages that were born out of intimate communion with God!


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Christopher

 2009/2/17 17:30Profile
sojourner7
Member



Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: What's wrong with preaching?

There are too many professors of faith and
not enough examples of faith !! There is
nothing wrong with preaching that conviction
of the cross and anointing of the Holy Spirit
can't fix!! :-o


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Martin G. Smith

 2009/2/17 20:17Profile
run2win
Member



Joined: 2009/2/1
Posts: 164
USA

 Re:

Hi Chris,

quote: I really don't like to hear "polished" sermons meant to intellectually stimulate me...no more than I like to hear some guy who holds a particular set of doctrinal convictions where he dismisses the faith and spirituality of anyone else who disagrees with him. Yet I can listen to a message by men like Ravenhill, Reidhead, Tozer, Wilkerson, etc... -- and my heart begins to grow heavy within me. It is strange (well, sad, really) that I get more out of a Ravenhill sermon preached 25-30 years ago than I do from most pastors or evangelists that I have heard in the past year.

Reading your post made me think about just how much we need revival. May God burden us to pray for it.

 2009/2/17 20:42Profile





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