Friday, 7 August 2009

preaching - not dead yet

Wasn't planning on a blog entry today, but thought I'd better say 'hi' to anyone who looks me up as a result of The Old Forge being featured as Christian blog of the day (today, friday) by BUGB Communications department e-mews sweep - so, thanks guys. We were originally planning to go with Ben to an event at West Wilts, but 'cancelled due to extreme weather conditions' - I guess they mean the glorious sunshine I'm looking at out of my window! Presumably waterlogged ground.
I notice Steve Gaukroger has been quoted as saying preaching is in a worse state now than 25 years ago - at Keswick I think. I tend to agree with you Steve, but fear everyone will read 'the need to invest more in training' as being a question of finance and, in the credit crunch environment, not be too keen, Either that, or we'll take the defensive stance and defend why preaching shouldn't be given the place it once was etc. Interestingly, I was having this conversation with two old Spurgeon's College colleagues recently. We were in danger of sounding like grumpy old men, but there were not a few comments about how the old style of sermon classes (where you preach to the whole faculty and student body) could be quite harsh and hugely challenging experiences, but ultimately made you reflect more on how you come across than the present more pleasant styles of critique, which don't seem to prepare people to handle inevitable later criticism. So, if Steve's going to try and promote more decent preaching, go for it. 
One of the things I pick up form people in congregations is the fact that too much preaching leaves them unmoved and untouched. Irrespective of how carefully the content is put together, if the preaching passes the listener by, it achieves nothing. Too many preachers are presuming their congregation will be convicted by truth, whereas they are looking to be led into truth by something more ..... human? 


Ian Buchanan said...

I'd have to agree (that we need high qulaity preacher development here) but if Langham Partnership has its way the baton of good preaching is going to be passed to the Majority World (LAm, Africa, Middle East and Asia) where the church is growing fast. Perhaps our future preaching models will come from beyond our shores.
Blessings Ian

Anonymous said...

In Post=Modern Pilgrims Leonard Sweet suggests that "new world preachers don't write sermons, they create total experiences. And these Shekhinah experiences bring together the full panoply of senses-sound, sight, touch, taste and smell-into a radiant glowing of God's presence"......I suppose that means that if you're not welsh you haven't got a hope and that we might need to add an extra point to our normal 3 point sermon.