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10
Sep

Emotionally Healthy Preaching

Posted on September 10th, 2010

During my summer vacation (or mini-Sabbatical), I had the opportunity to visit a few churches. I heard some well-delivered sermons  with excellent illustrations, sharp deliveries, and technological grabbing support. I had, however, some observations that, I think, are worth pondering about what makes preaching out of a paradigm of emotional healthy spirituality quite distinct. While this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, this is what I would like to say to myself and my fellow-communicators who have the unique privilege to speak for God to His people out of what I heard this summer: 1. This is not about us or our validation. It is not about people moving towards us but towards Jesus.   2. We must preach out of deep place of prayer as foundational to our preparation. 3. Respect complexity. especially as it relates to applications.  What does it mean, “God wants us to triumph?” “Position yourself properly?” Praise God sacrificially?” “Trust in God’s Word completely?”   4. Be careful about manipulation or coercion. “Clap your hands.”  We are not about fixing, driving, or making people do things that do not flow out of the love of Jesus and from the inside of them. 5. Be generous towards the rest of the church and those outside the faith. We don’t want to create an “us vs. them” mentality. Respect the broader church. There are other streams besides our own. Evangelical/charismatic/reformed Christianity is not the only place God is working. We need to learn from others.  Let’s be sensitive to gender insensitive comments, racism (The “black as sin” emphasis was difficult to listen to) and language regarding the Developing World (Third or Fourth world may not be the best to use at this juncture). 6. Love is our Goal. Life really is about receiving and giving the love of God. Is there anything more important? Ultimately, our preaching is about people developing their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ, loving Him, ourselves and others.  This is all easier said than done. And I throw the first stone at myself.  Thoughts to add?

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