At breakfast with a friend this morning: Good times. We talked about a lot. One issue was the fact that Spurgeon, for all his acclaim, was not a particularly good model for preaching. In fact, no one should preach like Spurgeon.
Which reminds me there are a lot of ways to get the job done, and the fact that a way works does not mean we should emulate it. Work hard at studying and understanding the text. When it comes to delivery, listen and pay attention to a lot of people (particularly those known for their communication abilities). Then develop your own style rather than copying someone else.
We also talked about the politics in church and theological circles. It’s not just “fundamentalism” that plays politics. Evangelicalism does too. Neither should. A guy who can bring visibility and money does not deserve a place on the board for that reason. A guy who can bring students and money does not deserve a place on the chapel platform for that reason. I am sure that I will have neither. Which is usually fine with me. Until my pride rears up.
But I am also glad that no one sends me emails about what I do or where I go. No one questions who endorses my books. And I like that.
Listened to some preaching recently: It reminded me that cute alliterated outlines, modified sword drills (turn over here with me), stories of your experience, and attempts at vigor and fire are no substitute for actually explaining the text. Tell me to look at the verse and tell me what it means. Show me where what you are saying is what God said. Engage me by engaging the text. Tell me a story only if absolutely necessary to help me better understand.
Browsing through a library recently: Came across a book entitled Great Preaching on Patriotism. Seriously. Seriously? Why would we preach on patriotism? Do we not have something better? Along this line, I recently saw an American flag in a church prominently displayed. I wondered how those from other nations would respond to that. I wondered how those from our nation who are not particularly enthralled with what it does at times would respond to that.
Walking across a well-manicured place recently: Reminds me that first impressions matter. Things looking good and being well-cared for are always better than the opposite. Our grounds and facilities should look at nice as we can make them. And by all means, be nice to people. In your organization, everyone should speak to or at least smile at every single person they see. It makes a difference.