We all (including myself) have our favorite preacher or preachers. We often speak of this great preacher or that great preacher. Today, preachers are under enormous pressure to “connect” with their congregation by preaching relevant sermons that reach the soul. Our culture has convinced them that the better they are at “connecting”, the greater they become as preachers. So, they agonize over their ability (or inability) to “engage” their audience, and as they preach, they get impatient and even frustrated looking for a sign that they are “relating” to their audience (congregation).
However, I am reminded once again that “connecting” with my congregation is not God’s mandate to those He has called to preach and teach His word. It is not about me or my ability to “connect”, it’s about God’s call on my life to faithfully proclaim and explain His word. It’s about “rightly handling the word of truth” and being diligent in my study until I am able to present God’s word faithfully, accurately and with conviction.
But wait! On the other hand, there is a way I can “connect” with my congregation. It’s by reminding myself that I am simply a servant, a dispatched messenger, who, though I have been entrusted with God’s word, remains conscious of my own sins, aware of how little progress I have made, who then sympathetically passes on to his people (whom he knows to have the same kind of problems as himself) what God has said to him and to them. In fact, that’s why there are no great preachers, only a great God!
Grace to you all, Pastor Jim