Why The Pastor Can't Preach
"Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.." This is the quote from the famous preacher: D. Martin Lloyd Jones. Unfortunately many of the things called sermons not only should they not be preached but should be strangled, killed and buried (sometimes including my own- I must admit unfortunately). There is a sad state of preaching in the modern church- and most of the parishioners know it. It's a shame that most church goers have to sit week after week, listening to horrible sermons as they suffer needlessly to the ranting of pastors throughout the years, delivering so called "messages" that are neither interesting, glorifying to Christ, nor are they edifying or uplifting to the average Christian. T David Gordon writes about this in a book entitled: Why Johnny Can't Preach. Here, I believe, are the reasons that most preachers cannot preach their way out of a wet paper napkin:
1) Many don't know how to read the Bible for preaching and delivering a message to a congregation. [T. David Gordon thesis]
2) They don't see Christ in the text and are unable to exegete scripture well enough to locate Christ in His: offices, humiliation/ exaltation, benefits, and person.
3) Most don’t understand gospel motives and sanctification indicatives and imperatives.
4) They don't read scripture or meditate in it enough so that his heart is filled with the Word of God so that the Word of Christ dwells richly where he:
a. Is filled with Spirit
b. Speaks the Word with confidence
5) Hasn’t studied how other preachers compel attention: dialogue, develop plot, significance/ importance, implement surprise, etc.
6 Doesn’t have the love for men and compassion for lost souls in his gospel proclamation.
7) Cherishes hidden sin and has not dealt with it.
8) Refuses to speak of wrath, fear,sin, judgment, etc. Doesn’t know how to deal with teaching that may be difficult for hearers to receive (truth or response) without unnecessary offense.
9) Doesn’t regularly deal with souls by integrating himself in the lives others instead he is absorbed with himself and the so called "business of ministry" (during the week)
10) Doesn’t pray for, and beg others to pray for, unction in preaching, the power and filling of the Holy Spirit or fervency in delivery.
11) Doesn’t show how the text moves hearers to application / implication / worship. He isn't clear and pointed in addressing hearers and what God's word is saying to them.
12) Doesn’t know where (each part of) the sermon is going and where it will end up, showing he doesn’t know why he’s saying what he is saying during a sermon.
13) Preaches for the approval of men, not for Gods glory and kingdom.
14) Forgets that the gospel is the power of God for salvation
15) Is afraid of reproach or tribulation or retribution from humans rather than the fear of God.
16) Doesn’t make sermon preparation a priority each day during the week and waits until last days of the week to put together weak and impotent outlines.
17) Has a low view of the power of prayer; so much so that he doesn’t ask or have anyone praying for him in the work of the pulpit