Preaching for Transformation
James Harris writes:
Those who worship God week after week should not display the same actions and behavior as those who do not. Their perspective and attitude should change, and they should also be able to help to change others.
Encountering Almighty God
I might add this change and transformation comes from an encounter with Almighty God. In worship and in our preaching, we attempt to allow the people of God to meet the real God who is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29. God is a Consuming fire to that which is not like God. Attitudes that are unlike God will be confronted by a real encounter with the Most High. Behaviors that are repugnant to God will be exposed simply by talking about the real God.
Societal structures of inequality will of necessity be shown false whether they be in or outside of the church building. When the real God shows up, people are changed. So our job as preachers is to get the people to see the real God. We do this first by expecting to see the real God when we go to the scriptures in our study. We then do this by a real encounter with God ourselves. If we don’t feel the corrective fire of God on ourselves then it is doubtful that any one else will as well. Then after having felt the Spirit in the study, we go to the pulpit with the desire and hope and belief that God will show up there.
Not Simply Shouting
And when God shows up, it is more than simply people shouting. It is more than people saying how you “wrecked the house.” When God shows up, people know have a different way of living, a different way of existing. When God shows up something more than what the preacher could have done happens. Real change. So let us go forward, not seeking to “celebrate the status-quo” but to let God do what only God will do.