Homilitics: The “Art” of Preaching
I preached for more almost 3 decades, and I loved it. It was NOT God so I put it down. Quit cold turkey on my 25th anniversary after I preached a message called “What do you have to burn.” The Lord spoke to me and said “Pam, you have to burn sermonizing. It is NOT of ME!
It is called “homiletics.” The ART of preaching.
Taught in seminary to ministers, I know from experience that the preaching resounding from pulpits today has pitifully little to almost nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I should have taken the hint when I first started sermonizing. I didn’t because preaching gratified the Hollywood nature of my flesh. The Lord spoke to me in a dream and said “Pam, when you preach, don’t forget to mention my name. I was a bit embarrassed. Yet every time I got in the pulpit, I remembered His words. I also will never forget how difficult it was for me to comply. It was quite the struggle. You see, the purpose of a sermon is to draw scriptures out of their natural context in either an entertaining or provocative manner for the purpose of either causing those who hear “to choose Jesus Christ” or to mature spiritually in Him. Built into the entire purpose of the sermon is the wrong premise. WE DO NOT CHOOSE CHRIST. HE CHOOSES US. Therefore when we preach this way, we grieve and we quench the Holy Ghost. Why? Because sermonizers use their stage like a performance to usurp His work. The Holy Ghost does the drawing. The Holy Ghost does the convicting. The Holy Ghost does the converting, and He will not use our performance to do His work. The job of the preacher is simple. We tell the story of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
What is the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Here it is in a nutshell.
- God came out of heaven and took on a human body.
- He ministered on earth for 3 years and He was crucified. He died in our place as punishment for ou sins.
- He overcame death, sin and the devil when He was raised from the dead
- He is coming back for the saints and He shall rule this world as He rules the entire universe that He created.
- Period. This is the story of the preacher in and out of the pulpit. This is preaching. Nothing more, nothing less.
So what is this act or performance that continues in churches, in conferences and conventions, acts that you can turn on Christian radio and listen to and watch on Christian television 24/7?
Preaching is an art. It’s an art of public speaking. The problem with public speaking is in both the presenter and the listener. The presenter is forced to not only consider but to cater to the preferences, the like and dislikes of the presenter. Most listeners are resistant to anyone who speaks to them from a public platform for more than 15 minutes on “anything!” Poor attention spans is a problem for not only churches, but schools, training seminars, community meetings and other gatherings. Most truths have to be repeated over and over again. So this is the reason why you can ask any churchgoing, professing Christians to explain the cross and the resurrection, the doctrine of justification by faith, how to walk in the spirit, and he or she will struggle to define or explain. The essentials of the gospel are lost in the preacher’s desire to capture the attention of those who are dull of hearing.
However, the true problem is with the preacher. I was the type of preacher that people either loved or hated to hear. I wanted them to love me. However, when I got up to speak, my method and my subject matter was either like John the Baptist or the Apostle Paul. I preached a hard word. Even so, when the Holy Ghost called me out of the church, He schooled me gradually and periodically. The first thing He said while I was still a denominational pastor was “Pam I cannot use you in this place. You are a light, hidden under a bed.” I left the denomination yet while I was pastoring the church that I myself founded, He said, “the people act like they are supporting you. They seem to love to hear you speak. However, their ears are dull of hearing. They are all living a lie. They are all hypocrites and they are filled with demons. Your church has become a dwelling place of demons.” So I closed it.”
I was a good preacher. I loved preaching primarily because I thought God was using it. He is not. The sermon is a dead thing. I buried it and I press on.