This morning I am pondering purpose. Honestly I am pondering the purpose of the spyware and virus that is pushing me closer and closer to replacing my pc – why do people write these evil things? Hopefully my character can be shaped by the frustration. But as my pc is scanned for the tenth time, I have reached for Preaching with Purpose by Jay Adams. It is a book with an edge (which appeals right now as I have an edge too this morning!)
There is so much purposeless preaching today in which the preacher has only the vaguest idea of what he wants to achieve. The members of congregations who are subjected to this sort of preaching for any length of time, as a result, both individually and corporately, themselves, become aimless and confused. . . . the amazing lack of concern for purpose among homileticians and preachers has spawned a brood of preachers who are dull, lifeless, abstract, and impersonal; it has obscured truth, hindered joyous Christian living, destroyed dedication and initiative, and stifled service for Christ. (Page 1)
It would do us no harm at all to take our next sermon and run it through the purpose test. What is the purpose of that introduction? What is the purpose of that illustration – why there, why that one? What is the purpose of the sermon shape? What was the author’s purpose in writing that passage? What is the purpose of preaching that message at all? Purpose should drive every aspect of preaching.
Now if I can just rescue my pc . . .