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Jesus in the Pulpit: Practical Guidance
by Tom Goodman
February 3, 2005
Jesus was the master communicator. Just as I want to imitate the way he lived, I also want to imitate the way he taught. How did Jesus preach? We’re taking a few editions of LeaderLines to look at Christ’s style of preaching and teaching:
o He was a topical preacher
o He was relevant
o He told jokes and stories
o He welcomed seekers
o He called for a decision
Last week we looked at the first point: Jesus took people to certain scriptures and explained how they addressed the topics that confused or concerned people.
Jesus was a topical preacher, and his topics were intensely relevant to daily life. That’s the second way I’ve described his teaching style above.
I once heard a valid criticism of a lot of preaching. The person said that too many preachers think people come into church “just dying to know whatever happened to the Hittites.” The famous English preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said on an unnamed pastor:
He is great upon the ten toes of the beast, the four faces of the cherubim, the mystical meaning of badgers’ skins and the windows of Solomon’s temple: but the sins of business men, the temptations of the times, and the
needs of the age, he scarcely ever touches upon. Such preaching reminds me of a lion engaged in mouse hunting.
No one could have leveled those complaints against Jesus. He talked about money as well as heaven, lust as well as prayer, anger as well as angels, and worry as well as the Last Days. To him there was no artificial separation between
“otherworldly” issues and “this-worldly” issues. It was all spiritual stuff because it all touched on honoring God.
If our desire is to preach as Jesus did, those of us who preach must aim to be practical. The subjects of our sermons and the application of our points need to hit home. People need to wonder if we’ve been recording their household conversations and reading their e-mail! I’ll let someone else do a series on the mystical implications of the Levitical feast days—I’d rather tell you the nine biblical ways to manage conflict or the four biblical things you should do to improve your marriage.
Take a moment to lift up a prayer for me as I prepare to preach like Jesus!
Special Note: Herb Ingram needs some volunteers! If you liked the small-group, video-based teaching that you experienced during the “Forty Days of Purpose” Campaign, you’ll like Hillcrest’s own Relational Bible Study—otherwise known as RBS and pronounced, “RiBS”! Beginning March 6, our RBS groups will meet in the multipurpose center (the gym) during the Sunday School hour, 9:30 a.m. each Sunday. We’re looking for about ten more small-group leaders to help us launch this new option! Contact Herb
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