Yesterday was a different experience for me at Good Shepherd.
For one, I wore a jacket and tie. The most frequently asked question was “what’s the deal with the tie?”
A few people even suspected that my Methodist “boss” would be in the service — perhaps having heard about the messages on communion and baptism over the previous two weeks — and that I needed to look my best for him.
Well, no. Actually, since I was preaching on preaching, I decided to dress something like a preacher.
See, the sermon was on sermonizing. Why is it that we use words to teach, inspire, frustrate, convict, and motivate when we gather to worship on Sunday mornings?
Which leads to a second way yesterday was a departure from the norm: instead of having one salient point — and that repeated throughout as a (hopefully) memorable refrain, I had three main ideas.
After first comparing the task of preaching to that of a) a town crier in the Middle Ages and b) Paul Revere in the Revolutionary War, I developed a working definition of preaching as that of breaking the Word down — explaining it accurately — and then lifting it up — celebrating its truths joyfully.
But then we had to deal with the “why” question. Why does God ordain that preaching is a way (not the only way, but clearly an important way) to communicate his love?
And the answer to that question had three angles. No poem to conclude, but three primary answers to the question of “why do we preach?”
What were they?
BECAUSE THE SUBJECT MATTER DEMANDS IT.
BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN’T ESCAPE IT (the call to preach, that is).
BECAUSE YOU LONG TO HEAR IT.
You can watch the message and see the tie here.