Posts belonging to Category Preaching



News and Notes – 5/9/2007

100th birthday present. Ten years ago Briton Alec Holden bet his bookie 100 pounds that he would live to see his 100th birthday. His bookie gave him 250-1 odds. On April 24, 2007 Holden turned 100 years old and collected on his bet to the tune of 25,000 pounds (over $50,000). Holden, still in good health, attributes his longevity to daily porridge, chess, and “remembering to keep breathing.” Nonsense, he just really wanted to collect on that bet!

Going up? Two not-so-bright men in Norway were arrested for vandalizing an elevator. How did they get caught? They damaged the elevator from the inside causing the doors to jam. Security guards then called the fire department who freed them while the police waited for them outside. Oh yes, a security camera also recorded the whole episode.

Rooftop PreacherRooftop preacher. The Rev. Alan Gibson of Evansdale United Methodist Church, NC, was scheduled to preach from the roof of his church last Sunday in celebration of his congregation reaching over 100 in attendance. His neighbor thought it might be a good idea to tie a rope to the pastor’s belt to keep him from falling.

HT: Justin Childers at CROSS-Eyed

News and Notes – 5/8/2007

Man throws pie at preacher. Last week it was peanuts – this week it’s a pie. A man was arrested in Colorado Springs on Sunday for disrupting a worship service by throwing a pie at the pastor while he was preaching. The pastor was preaching on the subject of loving your enemies.

Extreme population control. Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, calls human beings a virus and recommends dropping the planet’s human population to fewer than one billion. Says Watson, “A virus kills its host and that is exactly what we are doing … We are killing our host the planet Earth.” So, who gets to stay, and who has to go? This is nuts.

Friendship fries. Remember the campaign back in 2003 to start calling French Fries, “Freedom Fries,” in protest of France’s refusal to help with the war against Iraq? Now that France has elected pro-American president, Nicolas Sarkozy, a new campaign has started to rename French Fries, “Friendship Fries.” I’ll just have a burger and fries with that please.

Preaching: Monologue or Dialogue?

Following up on yesterday’s post about preaching and congregational response, here are a couple of articles from the latest 9Marks Newsletter about a different but related subject: conversational preaching, a newer approach where the preacher and congregation actually participate in dialogue during the message.

  • 9Marks Pastors’ and Theologians’ Forum
    “Must the sermon be a monologue? If not, should it be? In other words, does the Bible allow for some type of back and forth conversation (like Q&A) to characterize the regular style of the main exposition of Scripture in a congregation? If it does, is it pastorally prudent?” Answers from: Ajith Fernando, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Kevin Smith, Derek Thomas.
  • A Conversational Approach: Will it Preach?, by Mike Gilbart-Smith.
    “I shall spend the rest of this article examining the different ideas people are proposing when they recommend “conversational preaching.” Some proposals are commendable. Others are reactions to genuine problems in some preaching today, but are nonetheless unhealthy reactions. Still others demonstrate a failure to grasp the nature of the Word of God and the authority of the gospel.”

And here is an article about a preacher who used text messaging with a younger audience as a way for his listeners to respond during the sermon.

  • Text Meets Text: Preaching with Real Time Feedback
    “I had an amazing experience last week while preaching the North Central University chapel with about 800 millennials in the house. At the beginning of the talk, I announced my cell number and asked them to text me while I was speaking with comments on the presentation.”

I am all for having a conversation about the message. In fact, we host a discussion of the morning’s message right after the service every Sunday. And I think the “text messaging” was a neat idea – as long as it helped people to focus on “the message of the text!” I enjoy dialogue in teaching and small group settings. But I am uncomfortable with making the actual preaching event itself a dialogue. This seems to change preaching from a proclamation of God’s Word into something else. What do you think?

Amen! Preach It! Preaching and Congregational Response

Our church is usually fairly quiet when I preach, but we had some guests a few weeks back who were more than generous with their “Amen’s” and “Praise God’s” during the message. That has sparked some interesting conversations in the last few weeks about congregational response during preaching. I don’t mind preaching to a quiet church as along as they are actively listening, but I must admit, some congregational response is certainly encouraging.

I remember preaching at a small black church in Mississippi during the summer of 2000. I think they spoke during the message as much as I did! It took me awhile to get into the rhythm of it all, but it was a fun experience preaching, and one that I will always treasure.

My favorite moment? After the church had vigorously “Amen’ed” and otherwise affirmed the previous points of the message, I warned them that I might step on a few toes with my next comment. At which point the whole church shouted back to me in unison, “You step on our toes, preacher!”

How about you? What is your church like during preaching? Quiet? Responsive? How do you think it should be?

Here is an article someone sent me from World Magazine on this very topic, called ‘Amen!’ ‘Preach It!’