To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

I am left wondering why in our free churches there is so much preaching which is verbose, waffly, imprecise and generally wandery. I seem to have experienced this over a period of time. When I hear it I am left feeling there is something wrong here. It seems to be that our Anglican brothers in Christ are not afflicted in the same way.

My tentative conclusion is that the influence of Dr Lloyd-Jones can be seen in this realm. He obviously was a remarkable man and exceptionally gifted. He could, thrillingly, carry off this method of not being precise with points or concise with language. He was simply a brilliant man with a great ability to communicate.

Moreover, there was the latent emphasis with him that the Spirit could catch hold of everything and the message would just go on. Now, I would want to emphasise that we need the Holy Spirit in all of our preaching. Preaching without the Spirit acting to glorify the Son through the Word of the Lord, is deathly. But, the emphasis I  am concerned about here, seems to have provided a spiritual mask for what is essentially sloppiness in preparation and delivery when adopted by others.

The form of preaching, I am referring to, has largely held sway in free church circles over the last fifty years. The problem is that most of us are mere mortals and not on a level with Dr Lloyd-Jones and therefore cannot carry it off. As a consequence, there is a lot of aimless preaching which drifts here and there. I would say that Stuart Olyott, in my experience, is a notable exception to this rule. He is a model of conciseness and economy of expression to bring the maximum effect. And, no doubt, there are many others of Mr Olyott’s ilk.

I wrote here about John Stott and it is my conclusion that his legacy in Anglican circles means that their preaching largely excels that in free churches. Hence, those trained in a context of Anglican influences are better prepared for effective ministry.

I am making vast generalisations in this post. I am very concerned though about the preaching I hear. I therefore muse in the ways expressed above. I may be leaping to wrong conclusions and would welcome any correctives if you, dear reader, are able to give them.

Comments on: "The Dangerous Legacy of Dr Lloyd-Jones." (2)

  1. I think that what you mean is that most Non-conformist preachers are plain boring.

  2. These are my thoughts –
    Advice on preparation & presentation of a sermon or Bible study.

    We have a message from the Holy Bible – the Word of God. We are therefore giving God’s message to our hearers.
    Use the Bible your hearers have for your main preparation.
    Who or what are you talking about?
    Is it a familiar story, or a story to tell?
    What is the most important truth you want to explain, for your hearers to remember & take home? What are the other truths relating to the subject?
    Where is that person, that truth in Scripture? Read the Scripture & the whole chapter, and any cross references to other Scriptures, so that you know the context, and how other Scriptures relate to your subject.
    That will give you the date & the circumstances of your subject, and the relationship to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    If you are speaking from the OT, look at how the subject is treated in the NT, as that will be the emphasis to bring out.
    Always apply your message in terms of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – there is a text in our pulpit which reads, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” (John 12:21, KJV)
    Write down your key points – even your whole message. 1,000 words will take about 15 minutes. Read it through & revise as necessary.
    Keep it simple in outline – no-one can remember 30 minutes of talking, but hopefully we can remember the main points, especially when they are explained. Most preachers restrict their sermons to 30-45 minutes.
    Make each point simply & explain it.
    You will be blessed by a Bible study to share with others.

    Use the microphone – we want to hear God’s message to us.
    Speak slowly & clearly, with emphasis where important points are presented
    Read the main passage & briefly explain the context.
    Start with an introduction – may be Biblical, topical, humorous, but not distracting.
    Make the main point, followed by the other points in turn. If it’s helpful, ask others to read a verse or short passages.
    Repeat the main point & explain; continue with the other points, & finish with the main point.

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