Solid Food Sermons Or Soda Pop And Candy?

Photo by Janet Hudson

I try to read every email that comes to SoulPreaching.Com even from those who are leaving the email list. Sometimes the reasons why they leave are simply because of having a different theological perspective.

What is interesting however are those who leave citing positions that I do not hold. Hence a couple of emails this week assumed that I teach the “seeker sensitive” marketing methods that were popular in the last decade. They are no longer on the cutting edge as the evangelical church has moved on to other tactics to foster growth.

At any rate, I must admit that it has been a while since I have written on the topic. Here is an article two years ago entitled God’s Grace or Mere Methods. Here is another one entitled Surface Needs or Real Needs written about a year ago. Then there is another one of a couple of years ago that I titled Seeker Sensitive Ministry and Felt Needs Preaching.

Don’t Go To Madison Avenue

Essentially, I believe that the church runs into issues when it attempts to use marketing methods that are alien to it. Madison Avenue techniques are designed for Madison Avenue. They are designed to help marketers to market products.

Some techniques look at what people want. They then construct a product to give people what they want. In contrast, a “gospel oriented ministry” will not be constructed around what people want. In many cases we are so messed up we do not even know what we need. A Gospel oriented ministry will not construct ministries around what the people want. Instead it will construct around what the people need as enlightened by the Most High God.

My Son Doesn’t Want Vegetables

My 5 year old child would eat candy every day if it were up to him. His “felt needs” are for more sweets and less vegetables. However, I know that would not be for his good and so I give him the vegetables. I give him water and juice instead of soda pop. I give him what he needs whether he feels he needs it or not. I give him what he would want me to give him were he to look at it from my perspective as his father.

Candy And Soda Pop

Many of us are serving candy and soda pop to our people. We want the big church so we don’t tell them what they need, but we tell them what they want to hear. We throw a whoop on the end of some pablum and feel happy that malnourished saints enjoy our anemic messages.

Maybe some of our people are not growing as Christians because we are giving them candy instead of solid food. What is solid food? Yes forgiveness is solid food. Our need for the most high God to step in our lives. That is solid food. But also, sometime you gotta talk about the ethical requirements of “being Saved.” What is expected of one who has this spiritual power that God alone gives? Sometime you gotta talk about loving the unlovable. That’s solid food. Sometimes you gotta talk about blessing those that curse you and doing good to those who despite-fully use and abuse you. Yes that’s solid food. Sometime you gotta talk about our connection to systems of evil in this world during the rest of the week. Yes, That’s solid food.

Where Is The Solid Food?

We have heard about God getting us a new car and a new house enough. Now it is time to start hearing about a God that will use us to relieve suffering. We have heard about being blessed enough, now it is time to start talking about being a blessing. We have heard about God “hooking us up” enough, now it is time to start hearing about “You hooking someone else up!”

As preachers, it is time to move on so that the Good News can be good to somebody else beside just the folks sitting in front of you every Sunday morning. May the Lord bless us as we seek to preach the whole counsel.

Comments

comments

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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Posted in Feature Articles, Issues, Preaching
6 comments on “Solid Food Sermons Or Soda Pop And Candy?
  1. PASTOR TONY CREDLE says:

    WELL SAID. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY NEED, AND NOT WHAT THEY WANT.
    I ENJOY ALL OF THE POSTS THAT YOU GIVE US, AND THEY ALSO HELP TO
    KEEP US ALL IN LINE WITH WHAT GOD REALLY WANTS VS. WHAT WE REALLY WANT. YOU ARE HELPING THE TRUE GOSPEL PREACHERS THROUGH YOUR POSTS.

  2. pastor michael booze says:

    VERY WELL SAID, I BELIEVE WE SHOULD PREACH THE WORD OF GOD TO THE TOTAL MAN BODY,SOUL,AND SPIRIT TO GLORY OF GOD THANK YOU DR. COX STAY BLESSED.

  3. Robert Hudson says:

    Pastor you said it so well the men of God have got to stop tickling the peoples ears just get get by till the next Sunday and stop having performance show just to get the attendance up and the money coming in. and i believe that once they do this the bible says that if i be lifted u[ from the earth i will draw all men unto me we need more truth and not flare today. by the way love this site thanks for all the help you have given me in your articles. assoc minister in my church

  4. Cory Davis Sr. says:

    The topic made is thought provoking and well established. No apology should be made for keeping the truth as the center of delivering the sermon. As mentioned in your article, the truth will not be received to the taste as sweet but bitter. Those who are called by our Father must understand this principle and stand firm in it. The narrow path, bitter to the taste is what’s needed in these times. Peace.

  5. Sarita says:

    I feel that the sermons should leave the individual fulfilled. Meaning, if one came in the door one way, they should be able to take something from the sermon and apply from the time they leave the Church, until they come back via Bible Study, Choir Practice. Please feed me, I a hungry for the Word. Give me something that I can remember and apply it to every day use. Critical Thinking goes hand in hand with God’s Word. Thristy for the word, give me something to read, thirsty for a drink give me water, hungry give me food not candy to tide me over, cause one may think that is the right. If a man hunger teach him how to fish. Teachable, teach me and no junk food please unless there is a statement or point they trying to make.

  6. Very well written and encouraging.

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