Liberals often rightly complain that the “bible thumper” who harps on sin often pushes people away from God, rather than drawing people to God. But fundies claim that to avoid the sin issue and only focus on love is telling half the truth. How do we present the truth of the gospel in both it’s aspects – that of guilt, and that of salvation which demonstrates the goodness of God?
I thought that this was interesting.
As part of my pastoral internship, I have to read and apply the principles of communication in Andy Stanley’s really good book, Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication. I won’t give you the 7 keys this time, but what I do find interesting is his method for organizing a sermon (or any other type of motivational speech), based on the Me, We, God, You, We pattern.
I was just reading Al Mohler’s latest blog post entitled A Tale of Two Crises? America, Europe, and Secularism, and I realized that loudmouthed, unbelieving, atheist bullies like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens are steering our country to the cesspools of unbelief, and affecting many impressionable young mean and women.
The fact that a larger proportion of young people are unbelieving in the West is alarming, and those of us who name Christ should join the intellectual fray. While some in the Emergent Church propose we are losing the young because we have not adapted to postmodern thought (and they are right), I have another thesis that needs to come alongside that one – we don’t have enough firebrand intellectuals taking on the atheist and anti-Christian messengers.
We need preachers and public debaters who will fulfill the dictum of the great evangelist John Wesley
Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.
Or as I like to say, people will come to watch a house burn. As a preacher, you need to light yourself on fire (metaphorically speaking!) and go out there and burn!
If you are a pastor that has to preach every weekend, what do you do when you run out of fresh material? What if you’ve just had a week with not enough time to prepare well, or have "preacher’s block?" Is it OK to borrow material from famous sermons? How about just borrowing the main points from someone else’s sermons, using your own words and examples? How about preaching someone else’s sermon WORD FOR WORD? What do you do if you find your preacher has not been writing his own sermons? Do you fire him or laud him?