August 29, 2013
I have heard many preachers in the three or four decades that I have been listening. More than once I have looked with awe and said something to the effect of “I wanna preach like that.”
I heard a great expositor preach with the strength of a firm grasp on the text and thought that I wanna preach like that. I heard a dynamic evangelist preach with the strength of passion and urgency and thought I wanna preach like that. I heard a gentle pastoral messenger who just oozed love for his audience with his message and thought I wanna preach like that. And I tried to do all of the above.
Then one day, I let someone tell me that I preach too long because there was a vote some 30 years ago that said we should always get out by noon. So I preached shorter even though I didn’t wanna preach like that.
I let someone tell me that I should just tell the story rather than simply exegete the passage. So I started telling stories. I did pretty well with that one. I might wanna preach like that.
One man said I preach too fast, so I slowed down. Then someone else said I preach too slowly, so I sped things up a bit. One man said don’t alliterate, another said always do. Use plenty of visuals on the screen. Never use the screen. Stand still. Move around a lot. Go verse by verse. Preach topically. Wear a tie and suit. Wear jeans and a tee shirt. Always give an invitation. Never ask anyone to come to the front. I am not sure if I wanna preach like that or not.
I think it is time for me to preach the way God made me to preach. That is how I wanna preach. With whatever fire or passion, whatever tools or timetables, whatever clothes or calls, I must preach like God made ME. No show, no phony time tables, no imitations of other preachers. Just the me that God made. After all, like one of those preachers said once, “I make a great me, but I make a terrible somebody else.”
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:11-12 NKJV)
See You SONday!
Pictured above – Billy Sunday circa 1912
(c) SF Gallagher 2013