Last week I shared three sneaky landmines that every preacher faces in the ministry. I appreciated the good comments by Larry and Sudhir, so thought I’d bring their suggestions to the fore in this post. More landmines:
Thinking we need something new to say – Now just because a take on a passage has been the main one offered for generations does not make it right. Sometimes the church does put a spin on the truth or downright miss the point for long periods of time. However, as a preacher, my job is not to continually come up with something new. The ageless truth of the Bible, preached again with clarity and emphasizing the particular relevance for these listeners – that is the goal. And if you have a new view untouched by past generations and the scholars on your shelf of commentaries? Probably delay preaching that message for a few weeks, pray it through more and get into conversation with some trusted advisers . . . then if it is what the Bible teaches, preach it!
Majoring on Distinctive Minors – That’s not a new chord progression for the guitarist, it’s a temptation we all face. It is tempting to major on the minors that make us (my theology, our denomination, etc.) distinctive from others. Preach the dominant thought in each unit of thought, don’t make it your goal to always get this feedback: “Ooo, I never would have seen that in that passage!” (This is disturbing feedback!)
Pointing the Preaching Finger at Someone – You know who is at the forefront of your mind. That face that is constantly there as you prepare your message. Perhaps a critic. Perhaps someone who has angered you. Perhaps someone who has made it their mission to bring you down, so you are tempted to make it your mission to launch applicational mortars from the relative security of the pulpit. Don’t. Preach the Word for the benefit of all. Don’t take aim and fire cheap shots. To do so is a poor strategy on many levels, not least the spiritual level!