Someone sent in the following question that I thought might be of interest to the community as a whole:
What are your thoughts on Preaching on Theme topics ( Pastor Anniversary, Church Anniversary, Women’s Day, Men’s Day, Youth Day etc.). Should I try to build a message off of the topic and/or scripture they have given to me, or should I seek the Lord for what God would have me to preach and possibly offend the Chairperson, Host person or Pastor. And if I do not preach the theme, should I apologize for ignoring their theme. Please help?
We get emails and comments all the time from readers. I love to receive them and try to answer them if I can. Many are happy with the “down to earth” and “practical” insights that I attempt to present in simple language. I try to steer clear of canned and trite teaching that people think they are supposed to hear. I attempt to give you real tools to help you in a real ministry in the real world.
Some disagree with this approach. I think disagreements can be helpful. I have learned more from disagreements than from agreements, but some of these disagreements come from a piety that does not deal with the reality that preparation for the preaching moment requires that the preacher put in some real work. No the preacher does not receive a message from God without putting forth any work whatsoever.
Preachers determine the meaning of scripture so that they can convey that meaning to the congregation in the preaching moment. Preachers go to considerable lengths to make sure that they preach the truth and not error. They study the passage within the context of the chapter, book, and even the whole cannon of scripture. In many cases, the preacher derives valid and truthful points from the text and then present those vital truths to the people. This is good, but often when you take the points from the story, you remove the ability of the people to fully experience the truth that you are presenting. But before the people can experience the text, we have to both understand and experience the text ourselves.
But how do you experience the text? Well you should do a full exegesis as you have done in the past, but I would also suggest that you might allow all of your senses to guide your understanding of the text. Yes, allow all five senses of touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste to help you ask questions of the text that you are presenting.
I was talking to one of our readers during my office hours and the subject came to the preachers who get all the invitations. In some cases they are the ones who tell people about the car, house, job, spouse, etc that you are guaranteed when you plant a seed or are obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He talked about the problems with such a theology, and he was concerned that so many people want to hear that message.
One of the most persistent misunderstandings that people have with SoulPreaching.Com is the idea that Soul Preaching is teaching Black people to only preach to Black people. One white preacher asked me on Facebook once, “Why do you talk about preaching only to Black people? Everybody needs to hear the gospel. Some of my favorite preachers are Black preachers…”
I asked him, “Why were Black preachers some of your favorites?” He answered that he likes the way these preachers used story and applied the scripture to real life. I then told him, I try to teach all of my readers (black and white) to incorporate such insights as that into their preaching.”