Tuesday, June 07, 2011

PREACHING FROM THE HIP

I had to write a theology of preaching for a theology of preaching final tonight.  I didn't want to forget, so I made up an acrostic.

Turns out, I kinda like it. I want to preach from the H.I.P.  I want to preach with:

HUMILITY:

I believe that there is something way bigger going on when someone is bringing God's word to the forefront of people's hearts and minds.  As a communicator, I'm humbled that God let's me.  I'm humbled that God ever uses me to say stuff to people.  I'm humbled out of fear because James 3:1 says God holds teachers to a different accountability level- for we are responsible for where we lead people.  And lately, I've been humbled as I wrestle with the certainty of it all too.  The last thing I want to do is be unbudgingly confident about that which I gotten even slightly wrong.  I'm trying to walk softly and let God carry the stick- painting my theology in an occasional black and white, but mostly a more honest set of shades of grey.

I read two quotes recently that have shaped me a little:

Perhaps the greatest temptation of preachers is to think that only they have a theology and to believe that the best thing to do is to convert all those who listen to their way of thinking.- Henry Nouwen in "Creative Ministry"
Tolerance isn't about not having beliefs. It's about how your beliefs lead you to deal with people who disagree with you. - Tim Keller via twitter.
hmmm.  Neither Nouwen nor Keller are saying they are wishy washy.  They are just saying, before you go telling people how right you are and how wrong they are, take a big humble look in the mirror first.  Then talk to yourself before you talk to anyone else.


INTEGRITY:

If it was a universal law that no one could speak a word unless they were fully living that word in their lives, there would be a lot more silence on the planet.  Maybe it would just be plain silent.  I mean really, everyone's a hypocrite at some point.  But our world is full of far too many fakers- especially in the preacher department.  Again, this one scares me to death because I know I have to call myself and to those who will chase after Jesus with me to a higher level.  That means preaching what I'm striving for instead of what I've achieved at times.  But with that said, the honest truth is the same.  If I don't want to practice what I preach, I should shut up and stop preaching.


PASSION:

Just as if we're not going to live it, we should shut up; I think if we don't think it matters, we should shut up too.  Like why waist anyone's time listening to someone preach about what is ultimately just a take-it-or-leave-it issue.  That sounds horrible and horribly boring. Jim Rayburn, the late founder of an organization called Young Life is famous for saying, "It is a sin to bore a kid with the gospel".  I think he's right. But maybe it's a sin to bore anyone- not just kids- with the essential core of faith.  No, this doesn't mean we jump around yelling and screaming and get the crowd to do the wave... but it does mean that if the message is not significant enough to rouse your emotion as a communicator, maybe it's not worth communicating.  

2 comments:

Neal C Benson 9:34 AM  

Brian,
This is a good acrostic bro. I love the part in humility and talking about how we communicate the truth. I took a course on preaching last summer but it sounds like you got to talk about the theology of it and not the delivery aspect.

brian c. berry 10:44 PM  

yeah neal, I took 2 delivery classes already. This one was the "theology of ministry" and was more theological I suppose on a variety of "why we do this" subjects.

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