I believe that one of our big weaknesses is in what is called ‘application’ in imparting God’s Word. I don’t mean a personal appeal tacked on to the end of a sermon. I mean an awareness on the part of the speaker of the condition of the audience, and the addressing of his utterance to that particular condition. Or to put it in more personal terms: a knowledge of the people on the part of the person who speaks…The personal relation between pastor and people, between friend and friend, is absolutely integral to effectual imparting of God’s Word…Yet a chief defect of modern preaching is that it is so often fundamentally impersonal: no amount of earnestness, or desire to get decisions, or shouting, or belabouring the audience, or tricks of rhetoric, or even conversational tone, will make up for a lack of awareness on the speakers part of just who he is talking to, and what their spiritual condition is in the actuality of their daily lives, and what they are likely to make of what he says. Nor will it make up for, above all, a lack of love for them which, even while he knows himself to be the messenger of the Lord, constrains him to be their servant, and to frame him message in such a way as fits their need rather than his own.
D.W.B. Robinson, ‘The Theology of the Preached Word’ in Donald Robinson Selected Works: Volume 2 – Preaching God’s Word. p146-147
Archive for Preaching
A particular highlight was hearing Andrew’s thoughts on the future of CCIW. If you’re interested in church growth or church planting, be sure to check it out. If you’re looking to get involved in a new and exciting church plant, then have a listen for how you can get on board.
In this episode we also launch another (legitimate) competition. We are throwing out a challenge for someone to create the most entertaining limerick about ‘the other college’ (let the reader understand).
Enjoy and stay tuned…
I’m preaching on John 3.16-21 this Sunday at CCIW Five Dock. The passage has some profound insights into the human heart. John records that what stops people from coming to Jesus is not a question of his relevance or doubt of his historicity. But what really stops people from coming to Jesus is the darkness of their heart.
And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. (John 3.19-20 NRSV)
During the sermon I’m going to do an interactive skit involving someone from the congregation. Without giving too much away, I try to convince the particular person that going to the dentist is a good thing.
Many people are afraid of going to the dentist for what will be exposed, will he/she find something wrong with me that is going to cause pain, cost money or take up valuable time? So, many of us take the wise option of burying our heads in the sand. Surely that will fix the toothache.
Coming to Jesus is to come and have him expose you–for his judgment to penetrate deep into your own heart. Sure, that can be painful and costly, and you can bet Jesus will demand your time. But isn’t it worth it!
What do you think stops us from having the Light of World expose us? I’d love to hear your thoughts…