A Healthy Fear of Preaching – Do you Have It?

As a teacher of preachers, I often see many people who want to preach in my life. Look in any congregation and you will find many preachers who have never had a community of believers validate their internal calling. These people sometimes think that preaching is simply about pounding on members with Biblical truth, belly-aching about some wrong, lecturing on a religious subject, or simply getting folks to shout and praise us.

In every church, that I have attended there were a number of members who thought that they should be preaching. They desired the position. One of my friends said that this was because of a desire to be great. At any rate, many of these “preachers” do not even realize the position preaching the Gospel places you in. Preaching is standing up to the hosts of Hell and the powers of this world and telling them that God’s Kingdom is coming. To preach is to declare how God’s Kingdom will look. Preaching is to go into the dominion of Hell and take out as many people as possible.

In short, preaching is putting a bull’s-eye on your forehead for all the abuse from Hell. Preaching is to stand up against the grain of friends and family. Preaching is to have some call you an old-fashioned conservative while at the same time others call you too liberal. Preaching is to be called unpatriotic and unamerican while others see you as a flunky for the powers that be.

Don’t get me wrong, preaching can be enjoyable. However, too much preaching today does not take on the powers of Hell. Too much preaching today is in the back pocket of the Democratic or Republican Party whatever the case may be. Too much preaching is simply “preaching to the Choir.” But then there is the kind of preaching that even shakes Hell itself. To engage in that kind of preaching is to go to war. That kind of war is scary. And if you aren’t scared….I wonder what you are preaching.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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