Preaching to the Heart
Preaching is often taught technically. We learn about finding the main idea, the subject questions, the main points and sub-points. We learn to preach inductively and also deductively. We learn about exegesis and exposition. We use Hebrew and Greek. We spice it up with illustrations, examples and analogy. We put in our applications and response. Well, we may think that we have a great sermon after spending so much time preparing for it. But it may not have turned out the way we want it to be.
The problem may lie with the audience. They may not be attentive. It’s possible, but let us put this issue aside first. Let us also put the work of the Holy Spirit aside since it is a constant factor. God can surely work through any kind of sermons we preached. But here we need to address another aspect.
We all know that sermons are prepared through prayers and meditation besides the technical aspect. But how we deliver it is important as well. Due to the technical aspect of the preparation, many sermons are preached to the head. It may tickle our minds but it may remain as a knowledge. This kind of sermons are probably too cognitive. Some other sermons are targeted at the hands. They have various steps and methods to do the word. But we run the risk of doing a lot of things without being transformed within. Besides preaching to the head and hands, it is also equally important to preach to the heart. Our sermons need the Spirit of God, but they also need their ‘souls’. This is the emotive and affective elements of the sermons. Our sermons must be relevant, but they should touch lives too.
Preaching at the heart is not just a matter of content. Besides making the sermon meaningful, the delivery is important too. We can only give our sermon a soul if God has spoken to us and convicted us. The sermon can only become alive when our souls are in it. We begin to feel for the sermon and become passionate for God. We would feel the power of God flowing through us as we deliver His word.
We might not have been taught about this issue, but it is definitely a critical one. This prevent sermons from becoming boring and distant. It brings the word of God alive and close to our hearts. Work on this and see how the response may change.