The Internet Monk had an article on the Role of the Sermon in Evangelical Worship. I have been doing a lot of thinking and having a lot of conversations about Bible teaching and sermon crafting. The role of the sermon in evangelical church life can hardly be overstated. What other human institution or organization banks everything on the power of a Message to change lives week after week as we gather around its exposition? What a strange people we are — we “people of the Book.”
As a youth pastor, I shiver and shudder weekly at my responsibility to unpack the Bible’s message with a room full of teenagers in ways that are clear, effective and, by God’s grace, transformative. What an honor! What a responsibility! I try to take God’s Word far more seriously than I take myself. Constantly adjusting, experimenting, failing and succeeding. My constant reminder to myself throughout the process: “You do your best, God will do the rest.”
I spend hours (for better or worse) listening to the most dynamic preachers in America deliver their sermons weekly via podcast on my iPod in my car. They inspire me to be a better teacher. They bring the Bible alive in ways I only dream of someday doing. Far too many pastors and congregants end up comparing themselves and their pastors to these “rock star” preachers.
At the end of the day, the art of the sermon must be approached respectfully, humbly, realistically and with due balance. Michael Spencer, the internet monk, provides us with many good points and challenges to consider. Well worth a read! After reading Spencer’s post the big question to consider is: