I have an elderly congregation and I’m having a hard time finding material for them to comprehend. The material is like a foreign language and the vocabulary words are to hard…I need material and themes to make them rejoice but it must be on a lower reading and comprehension level.
Ahh…a very good question that we will attempt to address in future articles. In the meantime, I would encourage you to get ahold of the book “Soul Theology” by Henry Mitchell and Nicolas Cooper-Lewter. That book provides the themes of the common theology operative among many including the elderly. You might call it “Grandma’s Theology.”
They key however is for you to know the language of the people you serve and the content and concepts of the theological world where you come from. Then you translate the themes into their langauge. A very good way of doing this is by stories and narratives.
Personally, I think many of us use too much theological jargon even when speaking to well educated audiences…
We will attempt to address this in the future, and thank you very much for contacting me…
God Bless and Keep on Preaching!!!
Sherman Haywood Cox II
Thank you for the email and I am excited about being a member. The main subject that I would like touched on deals with Bible software. I know there are many out there but what is considered the best for preachers? There is Logos, Wordsearch, E-sword, PC Bible, etc. I know Logos is the most expensive out of all but just touch on that area a little. Thanks in advance.
Ahh…That is a very good question. We will address this on the website or in the email magazine. I would first say for most purposes E-Sword would be sufficient. However for technical study of the original language I would suggest the very good BibleWorks. It is fast and good, but it is a bit expensive.
Another software package does allow the technical study of the original languages, but it is not its forte’. Logos is best seen as a software library. There are tons of resources on it. It can be helpful as well, but to find what others have said about the scripture.
Here is what I do….
If I didn’t have the budget, I would use E-Sword…and if I could only get Logos or Bible Works, I would get Logos becuase you can do all the stuff you do in Bible works, it is just a bit more clunky and slow…
God Bless and I hope to address this more substantially in the future…
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It is axiomatic among many to teach that the hearer should guide the topics and content of the sermon and ministry in general. In this model, we go to the people to find out what they want and then give people these things. By doing that we are sure to give relevant ministry, it is argued. Likewise, we can go to the people to learn what people really want to hear in the sermon. Such methods give us the “felt needs” of the people. Such preaching is alegedly “helpful” to them.
It is this kind of preaching that caused William Willimon to state:
Jesus doesn’t meet our needs; he rearranges them. He cares very little about most things that I assume are my needs, and he gives me needs I would’ve never had if I hadn’t met Jesus. He reorders them.
I used to ask seminarians, “Why are you in seminary?” They’d say, “I like meeting people’s needs.” And I’d say, “Whoa. Really? If you try that with the people I know, they’ll eat you alive.”
Now, if you’re a pastor in Honduras, it might be okay to define your ministry as meeting needs, because more people in Honduras have interesting biblical needs â€“ food, clothing, housing. But most people in the churches I know get those needs met without prayer. So they’ve moved on to “needs” like orgasm, a satisfying career, an enjoyable love life, a positive outlook on life, and stuff the Bible has absolutely no interest in.
In our day when the American dream is seen as our birthright, Willimon’s counsel is much needed. Certainly the heresy of the “prosperity Gospel” tempts us to preach that God guarantees us an American upper middle class lifestyle. And yet the truth of the matter is that God has made no such guarantees. The truth of the matter is that John the Baptists head ended up on a plate. The truth of the matter is that Jeremiah was thrown in jail for teaching the truth. The truth of the matter is that we may not get the new car, the promotion, or the American version of the Good Life. We do our people a disservice when we preach lies to them. We do our people a disservice when we placate their desires rather than preaching a gospel that will transform those priorities to be in line with God’s priorities.
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