A lot of preaching needs some good pruning. In fact the pruning should have taken place before the message was preached.
The problem I am talking about here is that of having a message that is overloaded. The preacher, in preparation has felt he has had so many useful ideas and so much valuable material has been acquired, that he feels it has to go into Sunday’s Sermon. So by hook or by crook it goes in there. So what happens:
- The main thrust of the sermon ins lost amidst a welter of information.
- Useful insights about Eglon’s fat belly (see Jud. 3:12-25) are brought out. People are titillated, but are they really edified?
- All kinds of little asides are mentioned, and the main path of the sermon is departed from so often that the congregation no longer knows that there is a main path.
So what should be done.:
- Only the material relevant for the message should be used in the message.
- All the material acquired in preparation does not have to be preached on this occasion. Some can be used another time.
- You are not there to impress the congregation that you know all about Eglon’s weight condition; you are there to feed the congregation on the Word of God.
So fellow preachers leat us be careful pruners in preparing our preaching. And our congregations will thank us for it. in fact to continue the horticultural; metaphor there will be far more fruit when there is good pruning.