Anthony Selvaggio Asks, “Are You Preaching To People?”
I welcome Anthony’s thoughts on the subject and appreciate yet another call to biblical preaching. I’ll go ahead and quote Anthony’s challenging introduction but be sure to read his whole piece to learn the three things that prompted him to write the article and his concluding exhortation.
Relatively early in my preaching career I had the opportunity to preach the opening sermon at a conference. The main conference speaker was a man that I consider to be one of the finest preachers of our times. After hearing me preach he paid me a compliment that I did not fully appreciate or understand at the time. He said to me something like, “You are one of the few young preachers in the denomination who actually recognizes that he is preaching to people.” At first, I did not understand what he meant, but then I proceeded to listen to him preach over the subsequent days of the conference and as my heart was moved by God’s Word preached through him I began to get it.
Unfortunately, as I matured in my ministry I soon forgot that early lesson and drifted into a practice of “wikipreaching” in which I provided people with biblical facts rather than the Word preached. I preached at people rather than to people. I gave them research papers that proved my knowledge of the original languages and systematic theology, but tended little to their souls. I forgot that I was supposed to be preaching to people. How about you? Are you preaching to people?
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