I received this email from someone who was at church yesterday.
Craig: your passion is an amazing thing to see. I won’t say you were preaching this morning; cause you weren’t. You were reaching into your heart and sharing it with us. Thanks for having the guts to do that and making yourself so vulnerable. Keep it up cause it has such an effect on people and shows your true heart for God and His children. Thanks!
I was really encouraged by this note. I really believe we have to be real in our preaching. I have heard it said that the preacher should never bring themselves into the sermon. Personally I think that is a load of baloney.
Not only should the preacher bring themselves into the sermon; they should whole heartedly throw themselves into it. The preacher needs to be able to share how the word affects themselves. They need to share their victories and their struggles. They need to ask the congregation to pray for them within their own life journey of faith, as well as being prepared to pray for the congregation. They need to be prepared to confess both the good and the bad…
For the preacher isn’t to stand apart and distant from the congregation- instead the preacher is a part of the priesthood of all believers and within the framework of their role in bringing the word of God to the congregation – they need to ensure that the word of God has worked its way through, over and within themselves first.
And through this saturation of the word, the preacher is able to truly share the word. And if the preacher is truly saturated with the word – they cannot distance themselves from the word – for the Spirit of God is the inspirer, revealer, carrier and empower of his word and the Word. And the word then becomes truth revealed within our own flesh and hearts.
Within this framework of being – how can the preacher not bring themselves into the sermon?