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As I sit down to one of the most stimulating and challenging tasks of the week, sermon preparation, I try to remember our time together on Sunday mornings needs to be about transformation. It must be about “next steps” in the process by which God transforms us into the likeness of Jesus (2 Cor 3:18). I am reminded of a couple of things I read recently about sermons …..

Ajith Fernando the director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka is in great demand as a speaker. When on preaching visits to the West he observes that the most frequent response to his messages is “I enjoyed that sermon” he tells that this concerns him as he shares the conviction that “sermons should disturb, convict and motivate to costly obedience. I have wondered whether peoples desired result from sermons is to enjoy themselves rather than be changed into radical disciples who will turn the world upside down.”
Jeff Lucas
 who carries preaching responsibilities in churches on both sides of the Atlantic (yes he commutes!!) expresses similar concern in his book “Creating a Prodigal Friendly Church.” Examining the impression we might give to a prodigal returning to our church he says “For them (us!) grace simply isn’t so amazing anymore….the sermon has become something Christians endure weekly rather than eagerly anticipate. It rarely evokes the nervousness that one should feel around the ticking time bomb that is Truth”

The privilege of preaching is awesome and one I take very seriously. However I believe that transformation has more to do with our attitude and expectations than how good or bad we perceive the sermon to be. And those attitudes and expectancies will rub off on those who visit our church. Do we expect to hear from God each Sunday morning?  Do we listen for the ticking time bomb that is Truth. Would we rather enjoy what we hear than be disturbed, convicted, or motivated? Have we any desire to be changed into radical disciples? What do you expect from a sermon and is it happening?

Posted August 28, 2008 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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