Preach With The Right Goal

I’d like to think this was obvious that it wouldn’t need to be stated.  I suspect I’d be wrong.  The goal of Bible reading, and indeed, the goal of sermon listening, isn’t to gather information. That’s not a bad side-effect or by-product, but it’s not the real goal.

The goal of spending time in God’s Word is not to fill the brain with facts so that you can impress at the next Christmas Bible trivia quiz.  It’s not to gather information so that you can feel good about your knowledge relative to others.  Now this is not to say that our brains don’t matter.  They do, very much.  But our goal in Bible reading, and our goal in preaching the Bible, is not primarily intellectual, but spiritual.

The goal of spending time in God’s Word is to know, relate to and respond to God Himself.  We worship God, not the Bible.  Yet we can know God and respond to God as we spend time in what He’s given of Himself to us in the Word, the Bible.

Make this clear in your preaching.  Even if you know this, I guess some of your listeners will still be in the “I need to know more, educate me” school of spirituality.  As preachers we must first live, and then also preach, the central vital absolute importance of Christianity as relationship.

Some of your listeners don’t grasp this.  In fact, they may be getting very overwhelmed and discouraged because they struggle to retain information. Help them know that the real goal is to know and respond to God.  The goal of preaching is not primarily informational, educational, or even transformational, it is relational.  Spiritual. The goal is God, not just a better them.

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