This week I have blogged about listeners. I was preaching at a Christian Union gathering again this week, this time in Northampton. I preached from Matthew’s gospel to a gathering of missions agency reps and students. Since numbers were down on last week, it was more tempting to try and please the reps, rather than speak specifically to the students. I hope I managed to keep the message on target for the listeners that were the focus of the message.
I’m reminded of John Stott’s great book on preaching – Between Two Worlds. In it he introduces the metaphor of the preacher as bridge-builder. I often come back to his thought that we have to land the message on both sides.
Some preachers start in the Bible text and build straight up to heaven, without landing the world of the listener.
Other preachers start in the world of the listener and never make any real connection in the world of the Bible text.
True biblical preachers have to be at home in both worlds and make sure their messages are firmly planted in the text, and land solidly in the realm of the listener.
Simple thought, but so important. As you preach tomorrow, are you well-rooted in the text? Good, but don’t forget to land very clearly and relevantly in the experience of the listeners too.
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Next week – Preparing to Preach Christmas Messages