Tuesday, April 01, 2008

LEARNING TO PREACH WITH HEART

I am a huge American Idol fan. The show just finished for this Tuesday evening. Nine contestants remain in the hunt to be the prized winner in this singing competition. Tonight's round revealed something which separates the strong from the weak: passion. All are singers to be credited for having made it in the competition this far. However, few have a seemingly deep passion for what they are singing.

I see the same with preachers. Preachers are preachers. We deliver sermons. But there is a difference as to what carries meaning and what doesn't. Often it's passion. Andy Stanley wrote in "Communicating For A Change" that as speakers we must have a burden. I think when we have a burden passion follows.

What is the passion? I once believed more volume equalled more passion. It doesn't. It equals simply more volume. Possessing a burden for wanting the hearers to take in the functionality and the activity of God brings us passion. Our hearers cannot go through life without knowing this kingdom essential.

Outlines are a dime a dozen. W. E. Vines may wrestle with a word and a lexicon will offer its derivative. But hearts burdened with the hope found in Christ move our members closer to intimacy with the Christ. Preaching isn't about notes. It's about being sold ourselves on the good news we've heard before we step up to share it with the church.

If I haven't learned something thrilling by 10:30 Sunday morning...every week...I have nothing to say to those sitting in front of me. The exciting thing to me is the Word has proven exhaustless and I learn and learn. I must tell the people what I discovered about God during the week...and the next. This fills me with intense passion....for I want them to know this stuff and I think it is genuinely Good News!

4 comments:

David Kirk said...

Thank you sir for all you do!

Jarrod said...

When we were critiqued in preaching school, one student more often than not, would say, "Jarrod, I loved how you made it your own."

There are very few times which I have had a message, even if unsure about my outline, which I wasn't passionate about.

I agree, totally, that you must preach with the heart - praying, hoping, and expecting a some sort of a change in the listener - which includes me, too.

Thanks for your heart, Terry!

jackie chesnutt said...

An old soldier of the cross, F. I. Stanley, a long-time preacher, author, fellow elder and dear friend, now 89 and not long for this world, used to tell me: "Until the message gets into the preacher, it will never get into the audience." That is so painfully true. Thanks for more good stuff, TR.

Anonymous said...

Good Evening Terry,
I did not get to say so at Tulsa and I just tracked down your blog. So, this is totally off subject. This year was mine and my wifes first visit to the Tulsa workshop. IT WAS FANTASTIC. I just wanted to tell you thanks for all the hard work you and yours put into it. I am going to be dragging several more along next year with me. Thanks so much for the nourishment it provided.
In Him,
Lance and Tracy Dickerson