Prophet or Orator?

Emotional businessman praying in hopeIn the book Sacred Art: Preaching and Theology in the African American Tradition Olin Moyd quotes Peter T. Forsyth who said: “The Christian preacher is not the successor of the Greek orator, but of the Hebrew prophet. The orator comes with inspiration the prophet comes with a revelation.”

Oratorical Talent Alone is not Preaching

Forsyth is reminding us of some preachers who think that they can get away with oratorical talent rather than Spirit lead inspiration. We all have seen some great orator-preachers. They can elicit a smile, laugh, or cry at exactly the right time. Every word is exactly perfect. The voice is a booming baritone that reminds one of James Earl Jones. The “Hallelujah” or the “Praise God” is always in exactly the right place. The messages may “inspire” but they don’t push us to change. They don’t even ask us to change, they are too busy patronizing us in our sin. They may make us feel good for a little while, but they don’t confront our society or us individually with the in breaking of the Kingdom of God.

[Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Preaching That Is Not Conventional

There is a lot of preaching today that does not address the reality of our membership in the Kingdom of God. Neither does it address the reality of the “present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) that we might be delviered from it. We often fall into the trap of preaching that is designed to merely provides tools to help us become better situated or more successful in this present world rather than helping us to become ambassodors of the coming Kingdom.
[Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

How Much Time For Sermon Preparation?

Can we complete sermon preparation in four hours? All of us whether in full time or part time ministry have limited time. However, those of us who are called to the preaching office have to put together effective sermons that are Biblically and theologically sound as well as correctly addresses the real needs of the congregation. In light of this very real need a SoulPreaching.Com reader asked the following:
[Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Increase in Sermon Intensity not Yelling

Man screaming out loudIn my post discussing Jasper William’s Whooping System, I wrote about the whooping Curve. This is an increase in intensity that subsides slightly as you enter the sermon close and then grows again to the final climax.
[Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Connect the Point to Human Experience

The sermon is not a Biblical lecture designed merely to inform the hearer of some interesting facts. It is not merely a place where you can learn different stories from the Bible. Certainly it includes that, but no it is more than that. The sermon is a vehicle for an encounter with the Most High God. This encounter does “inform,” but it also provides hope, healing, direction, salvation, etc. Because of this, preachers should embed in the sermon an expectation of a response from the congregation.
[Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Should You Go To Seminary?

GraduaciónBecause of my public ministry, I receive a lot of questions. One question that comes up from time to time is whether the questioner should go to seminary or perhaps the location that one should attend seminary.

I see myself in many of these people. A while ago, I was in the same boat, just accepted my “call to ministry” and was ready to go to school to get the entrance requirements into ministry.
[Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Are You Settling For Good?

Flickr_-_Official_U.S._Navy_Imagery_-_Runners_at_the_2012_Washington_D.C._Special_Olympics_represent_the_U.S._Navy_and_Army_during_a_4x100_meter_relay_race_at_the_2012_Washington_D.C._Special_Olympics.Thomas Merton said, “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” This reminds me of something that one of my seminary professors said in a sermon. He argued that the greatest temptation for most of us is not to do that which is wrong. Many of us have that temptation, but it is not the greatest one. He said, the greatest temptation is to do that which is “good” rather than that which is “great.”

Here the temptation is to stop because what you have accomplished is “good” or “good enough.” how many preachers do you know are stagnant in their preaching ministry. They are “good” but never go through the effort and pain to push on towards the fullness of God’s purpose. I am sure we all have fallen into that trap more than once in our lives. God may have given us a vision, but we stop for whatever reason. We then rationalize that what we are accomplishing is “good enough.”
[Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

How Do You Reach The Youth?

bishopyouthsmall

A preacher was addressing a youth day service and decided to really make an attempt to get into the mindset of the youth. He wore the clothes of the youth. He attempted to speak the language of the youth.

Incidentally, his sermon didn’t seem to be particularly address the youth. The sermon was simply a regular sermon, but it was addressed to the youth because of the clothes and the jargon as we see in this cartoon.

But often such attempts to address the youth only elicit a snicker of derision before slipping into ignoring the message. Really addressing the youth would require taking the truth that you know and finding a way to translate it into something understandable by the youth. Incidentally, that is your problem every week. You are to translate the message into something that is understandable by the people.

So pull your pants up and speak in the language that you understand. But attempt to address the people not with a surface understanding of their issues, but with a deeper attempt to connect with them. Your people will probably appreciate it…Tell me what you think in the comments.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Easy Sermon Resolution – Don’t Preach For The Easy Shout

closeup of woman cryingThe other day I was listening to a preacher close a sermon about pain. The preacher preached about the very real struggle with pain and suffering that we all have to go encounter in this life. In typical African American style, the preacher closed the sermon with a “celebration.” Here the preacher resolved the pain by pointing to being “hooked-up.”

The preacher then looked through the congregation and talked about someone who lost a child, but now had another one. Someone lost a job, but now that one had a better job. There was someone who got diagnosed with a disease, but there was a misdiagnoses. And then the close came with “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” [Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Practical Preaching Or Kingdom Preaching?

Photo : Bresson Thomas

Many call for practical sermons. I have made the same call on occasion. However, the term “practical sermons” means different things to different people. For example, some preachers use the term to mean sermons that give people life skills to help them live in this world. These sermons would address such important things as becoming a better employee or entrepreneur. Other sermons might be how to overcome racism and sexism to break through the glass ceiling that “the enemy” wants to use to block you from your God given destiny of prosperity, health, and wealth (certainly you have read enough of my work to know I have great problems with such a presentation…but I digress…). [Read more...]

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Are We Building the Kingdom?

bishopkingdombuildingsmall

I was talking to someone the other day about how often our “kingdom building” is nothing more than “rearranging the seats.” Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you must worship at one particular location. Neither am I arguing that what we commonly call “church hopping” should be condemned as something that should never happen, but what I am saying is that this phenomenon does seem to hide little progress as the kingdom growing.

As this cartoon illustrates, before and after these changes we end up with the same amount of folks going. Have we done anything? Is this kingdom building? What can or should we do?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Lord Help Me To Hold Out



Perhaps you have heard the song, “Lord Help Me To Hold Out.” It is a call for perseverance in the midst of the storms of life. It doesn’t ask for the removal of storms, but it only asks that God would help the singer to hold on until “my change” comes.

As the singer moves into the verses, we learn about the struggle. We learn about a way that is not easy, but there is a resolve to put one’s trust in God. Yes hold on. As I think about this song, I am struck by the fact that pains and problems are accepted as normal in this song. We will have difficult days in this life. We will have struggles in this life. We will find ourselves in situations that are almost unbearable. This song doesn’t sugar coat reality like we sometimes do.

No the song specifically says, “My way may not be easy, You did not say that it would be, but if it gets dark, can’t see my way, he told me to put my trust in thee.”

Darkness is a certainty. Darkness is a surety. In this world you will have trouble (John 16:33). The blessing is not in the removal of the darkness. That would be an unrealistic view for we all know about the pains of life.

But the key is that you can hold on. You will hold out. If you just ask the one who has brought you through to help you to hold on just a little while longer. For if you hold on, your change will come

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Is Your Turn Coming?

bishopwaitsmall

Is Your Turn Coming? This is the biggest question that I get at SoulPreaching.Com so I drew a cartoon. I have talked about it in previous articles and I have even agonized as the one waiting. When will our time come?

The important point to remember is that there is a work for you to do right now. In addition, we need to remember to be open to allowing our calling to take us into other places we might not have originally considered.

Finally, we must remember to be ready, for just as the good Reverend in our comic found out, your day may be right around the corner. Be ready for it.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter