Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Preaching Again

I get to preach this Sunday (and on Christmas eve and on Christmas day). I absolutely LOVE the opportunity to preach. It's not because as a youth pastor there are some things I really want to tell them. I think it's more the chance (or being forced) to really study a text for it's true meaning and then to presesnt that in a way that is true to the text, that is true to the audience, and is palatable - maybe even tasty. It's always a unique challenge.

One of the challenges I face in writing a sermon is that my mind is different from others' minds. I could sit and just listen to a pastor go verse by verse through a text, without stories, and really enjoy it - as long as he really got into the text. But I think most people wouldn't enjoy that depth and also they lack basic logical skills.

Another problem - Pastors craft sermons around logical arguments - A so the B and then add C and subtract D - therefore E. And people only here soundbites. The pastor works so hard to make simple sense out of something rather complicated and 90% of the people can't follow logic (math is simply logic with numbers - and everyone should work hard at math so they can be logical). I don't have answers to this dilemma, just the dilemma.

Part of my issues/challenge with preaching is that I really enjoy teaching (probably more than speaking). It's easier and I just enjoy being taught without the fluff of speaking.

QUESTION: I think it's good to end a blog with a question. I guess I blog for myself as much as anyone else (good idea since I may be the only one reading these). There are some huge challenges in preaching, especially as it relates to speaking to people who hear soundbites, but will not follow logical reasoning. I wish I had more answers. Any thoughts?


At 10:55 AM, Blogger pastor mark said...

You've got some good thoughts on preaching I think. I think that the difference between teaching and preaching is one that most people haven't put a lot of thought into. It is obvious once someone says it, but it isn't naturally observed and understood by the average person in the church.

It seems to me that if people do have a difficult time following a logical argument, which I agree is true, then we have to be more creative in presenting that logical argument in a way that makes sense to them and will be memorable to them. OR you just skip logic and share the truth in other memorable ways, as most people have decided to do.

I think that I look at preaching more from a story telling point of view - telling the story of the passage in a way that is true to the text and true to the audience, instead of looking at it as a logical argument.

My question for myself and you then is this, if people don't seem to grasp logic as perhaps they used to, should we find ways to help them think more logically or speak to them through other methods besides logic to get the truth of a text communicated?

Now I'm confused.


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