Preaching Doctrine or Unique Denominational Teachings
This is a common question. How do I preach doctrine. We have some beliefs as Christians that we need to preach. Doctrines such as the deity of Christ, Salvation by Faith, and perhaps the Trinity.
Related to this are the questions from various tradtions. For example, a Pentecostal asked about preaching on the Gifts including speaking in tongues. An Adventist asked about preaching the Sabbath. A Holiness person wanted to know about preaching on Biblical Holiness.
Common Way of Preaching These Things
Now sometimes these types of sermons end up being preached in a problematic way like this:Don’t Do This
- Describe the Doctrine
- Prove the Doctrine
- Encourage the People to Believe the Doctrine OR Threaten People with Disbelief
- Tack on an Celebration about Going to Heaven if you Believe or Practice the Doctrine
However if a doctrine is valuable then it should have present benefits and not just future rewards for right belief. In addition, if the doctrine is true, it should have something to say that will help those on the underside of society that needs help.
Preaching to Practical Needs of Humanity
First, the brunt of African American preaching is in being practical. We are speaking to the real practical needs of humanity. So your first order of business is to find the practical difference that your particular doctrine makes in daily living.
Certainly this doesn’t preclude the need to define and describe the doctrine. However, if the doctrine is going to be made real in the lives of your hearers, then the doctrine must have practical contemporary ramifications. It is these practical contemporary ramifications that you need to make clear in your sermon.
Preaching to Those Who Need a Word of Hope
Next, we are speaking a word of hope to those who find their selves with their backs against the wall. So we need to find a word of hope in the midst of pain. Doctrines or teachings should help our people. They should help us interpret life in light of God’s perspective.
Our Denominationaly unique teachings should help us interpret life in light of our own heritage sent to us by our ancestors. So it is our job, as preachers, to take these doctrines and help our people understand how they help us deal with the world we find ourselves in.
If you are going to preach doctrines, that is good and important, but don’t fall into the trap of teaching doctrine in such a way that it is irrelevant to our lives. Such preaching is not being true to our ancesters who worked through these doctrines that they have passed on to us.