December 20

Preaching To Real People


Brother Sherman,

Can you speak more on preaching to “Grandma and Dem?”

Someone asked. And again, if you want me to answer some questions, please go head and respond to this email with your questions…

Preaching to “Grandma and Dem” is an attempt to insure that your preaching has rigor and depth, but it is to real people going through real things in real life.

First, I need to say that this kind of preaching is not about changing the materials to talk to these folks…I tis just going to the scripture with their concerns on your heart.

You are not trying to preach to your seminary professor to prove you have done a lot of work. You are a professional, we assume you have done the work, you do not have to prove it. We expect that you have.
We expect that you have a lot of material that you can’t or won’t use. The reality is that when we put together a sermon, we have a lot more than 25 minutes worth of material. You must pare it down or the people will not remember.

Preaching to Grandma and Dem helps you to pare that material down. It helps you to find that part of the material that will be helpful to real folks in real situations.

OK…That’s what it does…but how do you do it?

I have talked about it from time to time…

I want you to ask real questions of the text…

As you do your exegesis…

Ask questions that folks who are hurting will ask of the text…

Ask hard questions…

So you are reading, “I am young and now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread.” PS 37:25


Now we are tempted to read that and start shouting…

OK…I ain’t gonna say don’t shout…

But “Preaching to Grandma and Dem”…Forces me to ask some hard questions

Somebody’s forgotten Grandma is eating cat food to make ends meet. What does this text say to her?

What about the homeless family living in a car and it is getting cold outside. Does this text say something to them?

Does this text mean that if I follow the Lord, I will never have need for food?

What does it say to Jesus in Gethsemane who asked, “My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Don’t shout till you have struggled with those kinds of questions and issues.

“Preaching to Grandma and Dem” requires that you go deep into your own experience….and ask questions…Questions that our piety won’t always have us ask.

I ain’t saying preach all of your doubt, and please don’t leave people wondering if God is here with us. God is.

All I am saying is that there is a depth to preaching through pain…rather than around pain….

We will keep picking this up…Hope that helps…

Brother Sherman.


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