Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feed My Giraffes

Jesus spoke to Peter on the shore following His resurrection. As he spoke to Peter, Jesus repeated his command to Peter to, "Feed my lambs and to take care of My sheep, and to Feed My sheep." No where in this passage do I hear Jesus tell Peter to, "Feed my giraffes." What is my point? Simply this; I feel that too many times the Gospel message is proclaimed to the giraffes and not to the sheep.

Men and women leaving seminary have just spent 3 or 4 years digging deep into theology and it seems to me that they can't wait to shovel it out as fast as they can! Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with theology and theological sermons. What is wrong is preaching with words that have no meaning to the average person in the pew. What good is it to preach in such a way as to make yourself look "highly educated" if in the process you fail to reach your target audience? After all, isn't that the goal in preaching?

I have been told in the past (by those who should know better!) that my sermons are too "simple." To be honest, I don't think there is such a thing as too simple. I received an email this week from someone who didn't understand what I meant when I talked about being "Reformed." They are new to this congregation and new to Presbyterianism. So who is to fault in their lack of understanding; Them or me? Well, me of course. If I preach with terms that people do not understand, I might as well be preaching in a foreign language (because in essence that is exactly what I am doing).

Lord, help me (an any other preacher who will accept this advice) to preach the Word in such a way as all can both understand and be challenged. Let me take a back seat to your Word, and let the Spirit be free to work in the minds of those who hear the Word preached. AMEN!

1 comment:

Rosella said...

Perhaps a class for new Presbyterians would be in order. But I take your point. Been reading a book called 'Church Folk' and they really know how to get to the heart of the matter.