One reason that a lot of preaching in churches seems to fall short is that there is a lack of engagement with the people present. I’ve heard numerous messages that fall into the category of relatively dispassionate lecturing. The speaker stands as a reporter of the facts of their research. They study a text, then that information is presented. Then maybe there is an attempt at application. But it falls short.
The preacher is not a reporter of facts found during their research. The preacher is called to speak to the listeners from God’s Word. The Bible is not exhibit A. It is the source of the message for us, today. The Bible doesn’t sit off to one side and get pointed at during the presentation, it sits in the hand of the preacher as the source and driver of the message for us.
So often the problem is a lack of engagement. First, a lack of engagement with the life of the preacher during preparation. If the Word of God does not speak into the life of the preacher, then the Bible will be presented at arms length, as an exhibit. Second, a lack of deliberate engagement with the lives of the listeners. Tomorrow, be sure to preach the Word to them, don’t just talk about the Word in their hearing. Today, make sure you’ve opened yourself up to the text you’re planning to preach.
If you are a preacher, your role is more than merely reporting.