When does preaching become lecturing?

18 Feb

A lot of sermons I’ve heard (and probably preached) could better be described as lectures. In a lecture you have some learning objectives and hope that everyone agrees with you when you come to the end. If they don’t, who cares.

So what’s different with a sermon? Well for starters the preachers intention should not just be to teach those people who have chosen to listen, but it should be for the people who hear God’s Word to be radically changed.

Good Sermon? Good Hair!

In a lecture the subject matter is almost irrelevant. At University of Warwick I could pick and choose my modules, some even from outside the Physics Department. Why? Because it didn’t really matter if I learnt one thing over and above another, as long as there was some learning going on.

Not so with preaching! A preacher must be convinced that his hearers ‘can’t not hear’ what he has to say (or rather what God says in His Word). That the message is so vital that the people have to hear it.

A new question I’m going to start asking in my sermon prep. is, “Why must the people I’m preaching hear this and what change does God want to take place?”

There’s two thoughts on the difference between lectures as preaching. Looking to ‘transform not just inform’ and wanting to ‘take it not just leave it.’

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