Preach with Passion

 

 

 

Make Sure You Preach With PASSION

We’ve come to the end of our consideration of TULIP, the acrostic that describes the top tips for preaching.  We’ve seen that a good sermon addresses the needs of the hearers, or is Therapeutic.   Another top tip is to include something Unconventional occasionally.  Make sure your message is Lucid, or clearly and easily understood.  The best sermons are also well Illustrated.  Preach with Passion is the subject for today’s post.

What Preaching With Passion is Not?

Preaching with Passion?

What does Preach with Passion mean?  When you hear that phrase, you probably think that it means something like this picture: someone who dynamically shouts, the points,  contorts his or her body, and vividly, even tearfully exhorts people to follow the Word.   These actions in preaching aren’t bad in themselves.  However, to preach with passion means something more than how something is presented.   You see, passion can be faked.

I visited a church once where I suspect that is what was happening.  It seemed that the preacher believed that the Holy Spirit could be manipulated into activity, if only the words he said were shouted, and the gestures were overly dramatic.  So, that’s what he did.

What Preaching with Passion Is

So, what does it mean to preach with passion?   In this Youtube Video, Jonty Allcock points out that to preach with passion means means that we realize that we are more Proclaimers than Bible Explainers, more Declarers of truth than Explainers of truth.  Therefore, when we preach with passion it is not about our performance.  It is more about the urgency with which we bring the message.

How You Prepare to Preach with Passion

There are several things that I’ve found helpful to prepared to preach with passion.

Pray

Prayer is always essential to preparation for preaching, and this is especially true when you want to preach with passion to your people.  Pray that God will open your heart to his heart for the people to whom you preach.  Pray that you will become excited about God’s message for your people.

Prepare

Of course, you are going to prepare for preaching.  There’s an old story about a preacher who got bored with his job, and so he decided to quit preparing to preach.  He was pretty gifted thinking on his feet, and pretty glib of tongue, so he would just get up on Sunday morning and talk for 15 minutes or so, wandering around whatever topic caught his fancy.  One Sunday morning someone came running back to where he was putting on his robe (a pretty liturgical church it was) with the message that the Bishop was in the congregation that day.

The preacher panicked, knowing that he couldn’t put one over on the bishop.  He went through the morning service, freshly aware of how bland his “sermon” was that morning.  The Bishop left without talking to him–something he considered a particularly bad omen.  So he wrote the Bishop a note saying, “I made a vow to God that I was not going to prepare, but would only preach what He gave me on Sunday morning.”  The next day came the Bishop’s response.  He said, “I release you from your vow.”

When I began preaching, I was a pretty boring preaching, as I’ve noted in an earlier post .  That changed one day when I was preparing a message, and got excited about the truth I was to present.  During my time of study, I looked for material that would not just inform people, but inspire them with God’s truth.  That search impacted my preparation.  I encourage you to do the same.

Present

Finally, I realized that I had to let myself go a little bit in my presentation.  I began to preach with an outline instead of a manuscript.  And I began to look at people as I shared with them what I genuinely felt was God’s message for them.

A Powerful Promise

God gives us a powerful promise in Hebrews 4:12, when he says, “For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the attitudes of the heart.”   And in Isaiah 55, we have this promise:

“As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Ed Rowell, in his book, Preaching with Spiritual Passion, tells about the time he preached on gossip in the church.  That week, a woman in his church who was one of the primary gossipers got very sick.  That event changed Rowell’s preaching.  He realized that God’s word is powerful.  He began to anticipate what God would do with the message he had prepared, and that gave him passion in his preaching.

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