John Claypool, in Best Advice for Preaching said that when we use preaching to get something for ourselves, rather than to give as an act of love, then the sermon will have great tension. And I agree…
Some preachers are condemnatory when they should be gracious. You know the kind of preacher I am talking about. They are ever looking for someone or something to condemn. Every week there is another group that comes under the ire of this kind of preacher. Meanwhile God is wanting to share the grace that heals some in that congregation.
And other preachers, in the name of grace, are sappily accepting of everything. You don’t know what God expects of humanity because these preachers never get to that. They are too busy talking about the benefits of grace that they never get to the responsibilities of grace.
Need to Have Sermonic Planning
The great difficulty is that if we don’t do some sort of planning, there is a tendency to gravitate to sermons and themes that address something in the life of the preacher rather than the needs of the people.
But the good news of the Gospel includes the grace that some ignore, but it also is a solid life changing grace that makes a real difference in the life of the people. A confrontation with the transformative power of God will give you the grace and forgiveness as well as the changed life. So preachers should address their own issues by applying that grace to their own lives…then they won’t force on the people sermons that are only a misguided subconscious attempt to satisfy their own needs.