Good Preaching is Hard to Find

I was talking recently to someone who had visited our church, claimed they loved it, yet didn’t return. During the course of our conversation they said, “It’s easy to find a church where the Word is preached.” I was amazed because I had thought this man was spiritually discerning and yet he made this statement which many who pay attention to the state of ministry nowadays would not have agreed with, including me. He then added, “That’s not enough; you find a place where you fit.” Now the truth comes out: it’s really not the preaching that draws him, it is other things (though, to be fair, I am sure the preaching was part of it, but it should me more than just one part).

I am glad to know that I am not the only one who would greet these statements with both skepticism and alarm. Consider this from Dr. Peter Beck, a former pastor, now professor on his struggle to find a church, in the Bible belt, mind you, that actually preaches the Bible and what he is “shopping” for in a church:

“Ultimately, it is the preaching, not the worship, not the children’s ministries, not the friendliness of sister Sue standing by the front door, that will draw us to our new church home.

We’re looking for a preacher who rightly handles the word of truth. We’re looking for an expository preacher who teaches what the Bible teaches, no more, no less, chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse. Surprisingly, twenty years into the Baptist Reformation, that’s not an easy thing to find.”

Read the whole post here: The Importance of the Sermon

About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
This entry was posted in Pastoral Ministry, preaching. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Good Preaching is Hard to Find

  1. Arthur Sido says:

    Dr. Beck specifically references the Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. The problem is that while the SBC came to embrace the Bible as inerrant, many SBC churches still don’t teach the Word. The believe in the Bible, they just don’t believe what the Bible says.It is hard once you have sat under real Bible preaching to sit under anything less.

  2. Arthur:You have more recent experience in SBC churches than I do so I can only defer to your judgment on that but taht sounds much like what I see in the SBC churches my various extended family members attend and serve in.I know that the problem in many independent Baptist churches, especially those with roots in the exteme right and in KJO fundamentalism, is that many embraced inerrancy as a standard while the whole time they were preaching everything other than the Word (e.g., standards, Republican politics, soul-winning, etc.) each week from the pulpit.And you are right that once you have sunk your teeth into meaty preaching, nothing else will do.This is why I am disturbed when someone leaves our church to up the street just because they have a barbershop quartet or an annual hunting trip. I wonder if they’ve heard a thing I’ve said the whole time I’ve been here.

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