If Jesus was offering a seminar on preaching, I am sure we would all sign up. The full course would probably include matters of authoritative preaching (unlike the scribes), crafting compelling images, plotting effective stories, and so on. But a brief seminar? Perhaps it would cover two points.
When Jesus was asked about prayer he answered with his two-part variation on the greatest commandment. Since he did the two-part answer repeatedly, let me speculate about how the “how should we preach?” answer might go…
1. Love God. The starting point is always fellowship with the Father. We cannot give what we are not first receiving. Allow him to minister to you, before you minister for him. Seek the Lord and find him, then share him. Seek the Lord in His Word, then share the person you meet there. Diligently study and wrestle with the text, not to gain cold knowledge, but to have your heart melted by the God who reveals himself there. Before you speak to others, love God yourself in response to his love for you.
2. Love your neighbour (i.e. your Sunday morning listener) Be sure you are praying for the people you will be speaking to and spend time with God concerning their lives and their hearts. Plan your message prayefully as an act of love driven by deep concern for their lives. Work so that they can understand, stay engaged, follow along, feel the importance and the impact of God’s Word to them from his Word. Preach with the winsomeness and grace of God’s heart flowing out from yours, because God is passionately committed to incarnating his message.
What do you think Jesus would teach in a preaching seminar?
By the way, I have a little book about the Jesus we preach coming out soon … more information to follow – watch this space.