I think good preachers should be like bad kids. They ought to be naughty enough to tiptoe up on dozing congregations, steal their bottles of religion pills…and flush them all down the drain. The church, by and large, has drugged itself into thinking that proper human behavior is the key to its relationship with God. What preachers need to do is force it to go cold turkey with nothing but the word of the cross–and then be brave enough to stick around while [the congregation] goes through the inevitable withdrawal symptoms. But preachers can’t be that naughty or brave unless they’re free from their own need for the dope of acceptance. And they wont be free of their need until they can trust the God who has already accepted them, in advance and dead as door-nails, in Jesus. Ergo, the absolute indispensability of trust in Jesus’ passion. Unless the faith of preachers is in that alone–and not in any other person, ecclesiastical institution, theological system, moral prescription, or master recipe for human loveliness–they will be of very little use in the pulpit. - Robert Capon
7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
I needed to journal this passage because it reminds me as a preacher not to talk on and on. For two times, there was a subtle description of Paul’s lengthy talk that was putting people to sleep.
As much as I want people to not sleep during preaching, I also need to be sensitive to the people who are listening to the word. I know the Word of God is powerful and sharper than any double edged sword but I also need to know that the brain can only take so much.
It is my prayer that when I preach I will be sensitive to the Spirit of God and to the people listening to my message. I think what is interesting in the story was that the people were more ministered to when they brought the sleeping man back to life.
24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[a] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
We have to make it our business as Christians not just to preach the word accurately but get deeper into His word so we can preach it adequately. Apollos was the teacher who was so eloquent that people wanted to hear him teach and when the disciples saw his giftings they set him aside so that he can be more accurate and adequate in sharing the gospel.
It is a challenge for us as preachers of the word and as disciples to have our Priscilla and Aquilla to train us to do so. I thank God for the people who have helped me, pointed out my flaws and got my into studying the Word of God more.
1. Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be triflingly employed. Never while away time, nor spend more time at any place than is strictly necessary.
2. Be serious. Let your motto be, ‘Holiness to the Lord.’ Avoid all lightness, jesting, and foolish talking.
3. Converse sparingly and cautiously with women, particularly with young women.
4. Take no step towards marriage without solemn prayer to God and consulting with your brethren.
5. Believe evil of no one unless fully proved; take heed how you credit it. Put the best construction you can on everything. You know the judge is always supposed to be on the prisoner’s side.
6. Speak evil of no one, else your word, especially, would eat as doth a canker; keep your thoughts within your own breast till you come to the person concerned.
7. Tell every one what you think wrong in him, lovingly and plainly, and as soon as may be, else it will fester in your own heart. Make all haste to cast the fire out of your bosom.
8. Do not affect the gentleman. A preacher of the Gospel is the servant of alL
9. Be ashamed of nothing but sin; no, not of cleaning your own shoes when necessary.
10. Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time. And do not mend our rules, but keep them, and that for conscience’ sake.
11. You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go always, not only to those who want you, but to those who want you most.
12. Act in all things, not according to your own will, but as a son in the Gospel, and in union with your brethren. As such, it is your part to employ your time as our rules direct: partly in preaching and visiting from i house to house, partly in reading, meditation, and prayer. Above all, if you labour with us in our Lord’s vineyard, it is needful you should do that part of the work which the Conference shall advise, at those times and places which they shall judge most for His glory.
…… is to preach with full conviction.
Preach the gospel with full conviction because it is the power of God for people to be saved. Don’t flint in your preachings. Give it all out because you know God’s message of love and grace is something people need. Jesus is the only answer. Not self help. Not how to’s but who is Jesus and what can He do for the people listening to you preach. Remember, you don’t have to make anything happen; you just have to make sure it’s happened to you!!!
From Christopher Ash, The Priority of Preaching:
We must not equate passion with style. But we must have hearts aflame with passion. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones famously defined preaching as, “Logic on fire! Eloquent reason! . . . Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.”
The story is told that when W.E. Sangster was interviewing a candidate for the ministry, the nervous young man explained that he was quite shy and not the sort of person ever to set the River Thames on fire. “My dear young brother,” responded Sangster, “I’m not interested to know if you could set the Thames on fire. What I want to know is this: if I picked you up by the scruff of your neck and dropped you into the Thames, would it sizzle?”
Never mind his eloquence; was he himself on fire? (p.67)
And from John Updike’s Rabbit, Run:
When on Sunday morning, then, when you go out before their faces, we must walk up not worn out with misery but full of Christ, hot with Christ, on fire: burn them with the force of our belief.
Our series break three weeks ago. I preached on Storing Up Mercy for the Next Generation. This message was inspired by Pastor Jentezen Franklin.
Remember my blog about the guy who walked out in the middle of my preaching last year, well he is back. The same guy!!!
Two weeks ago, I realized that this was the same guy who walked out shouting last year and he is sitting in the front row. In fact, this guy has been coming to church for the past 6 months already. In fact this guy also approached me one time and told me that he and his wife listens to the recordings of our preachings every night.
I thought everything was fine until three weeks ago. I was in the middle of my preaching and was preaching on how our sin affects generations even our kids when I heard him shout again – “YOU LOST ME THERE” and acted defiant and would not listen to the message but this time he didn’t walk out he just sat and finish the message. It was a good thing his wife was able to react immediately and stopped him from reacting more.
After my preaching he told me how my preaching disturbs him. “Pastor, I don’t like hard hitting messages, I want funny messages.”
I think this is how we are sometimes. We tend to choose what we want to hear and try to ignore and disobey the stuff that we know affects us.
Tim Keller said it best,
To stay away from Christianity because part of the Bible’s teaching is offensive to you assumes that if there is a God he wouldn’t have any views that upset you. Does that belief make sense? If you don’t trust the Bible enough to let it challenge and correct your thinking, how could you ever have a personal relationship with God? In any truly personal relationship, the other person has to be able to contradict you.
We can’t choose what is comfortable and back down when we the message doesn’t suit our liking. We have to ask God to change us and transform us and sometimes change does hurt. But we have to face the brutal fact. We are sinners in need of God’s grace. If we are saying I want God to change me then get ready when HE starts changing you.
Got a call 630am in the morning that one of our neighbors attending church needed pastoral help. Their household help is being possessed by demons. I was there by 745am and declared God’s deliverance over the lady possessed by demons. My dilemna was that I had a preaching engagement at 9am in Quezon City so I had to cut short praying for the girl and asked some people in church to help sub for me. Great to have a church with people who loves casting out demons.
Preached at Christian Bible Church in the Philippines – it is a Chinese church situated in Talayan Village. First time to preach in a Chinese church with an interpeter. Just want to thank the Revered Jeremiah Chueng for trusting me with his pulpit. I preached on the book of Colossians and how Christ completes us and how His grace transforms us.
Went home to my wife Thammie and learned that the doctor ordered total bed rest for her. So no more Avengers with wifey.
Hurried to my 2pm Victory group with some of the men in our church. Always encouraged how they are growing in the gospel and God’s grace. Excited to see our group multiply as we make disciples.
Preached in our 4pm and 6pm. We had to close the doors in our 4pm service because there was no more room for people to sit in. When we started emphasizing discipleship – the church grows. Preached with my COAT on for the first time in Greenhills since it was the same attire I had this morning. (Feeling sharp!!!)
God is good. I love this job, I love my wife and I love Jesus.
Here was a preaching last year looking at Ephesians 6. I preached don’t how we could stand firm in the midst of battle.
Manny Pacquiao preaching the message of the gospel. Wasak ito!!!!