Sunday, 21 January 2007

Preaching - love it or hate it?

The debate about sermons has spread beyond my original question about the wisdom of posting them on YouTube to reach young people. Do we love or hate sermons, and why? A quick read through Jonny Baker's chapter on preaching says very helpfully some challenging things for all 'sermon producers' - and consumers. (Preach it, Jonny!)

Jonny also points to some of Mike Riddell's writing on the topic, and here's a tiny sample from his book God's Home Page [p 122-3]:
The dominance of expositional and deductive preaching in the contemporary church calls for some alternatives, lest the faithful continue to suffer unnecessarily.
Is that a critique you'd recognise? Riddell declares that preaching the Gospel is too valuable not to be done well. As Jonny Baker reminds me in his hand grenade/fruitbowl chapter, Riddell says ‘The purpose of the sermon is to unleash the power of scripture in a way that leads to personal and corporate encounter with God.’ [p119 God’s Home Page]. And somehwere else he helpfully suggests that when you've got 'sermonizing', that's when you've got the wrong kind of preaching - the kind none of us wants whether churchgoers or not. The cultural mix is what can inhibit or enable the unleashing of the power.

We had a good sermon in our church this morning; the gifts our vicar Tony brings include a great skill in storytelling, and a reflective approach to applying Scripture in life.

No comments: