Podcast Episode 14 | 13 min
Preaching in the Power of the Holy Spirit
Entering into a conversation with the Triune God during your sermon prep process.
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Matt Woodley: This is Matt Woodley, editor of PreachingToday.com on Monday Morning Preacher. Today’s guest host is Kent Edwards. Kent is the author of Deep Preaching. He’s also a contributor at PreachingToday.com. Kent, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your love, passion, and experience in preaching.
KE: Well, really it’s come out of a lifetime of pastoral ministry. So I’ve pastored churches across North America for the past 35 years, and during that time I discovered it’s not easy. I had gone to education to try and find answers, and that’s led me to pursue various degrees and to teach at Gordon Conwell Seminary as well as Talbot School of Theology, part of Biola University. But it’s also led me to found an organization a couple of years ago called Cross Talk Global.
God is growing his church all around the world. And did you know that 85 percent of all pastors in the world have no formal training? Seminaries, the traditional organizations for training, can’t meet that need so what we’re doing is we’re working right now in eight different countries on four different continents, and we’re taking gifted godly people who God has placed strategically in his church to help it grow and give them the basic training they need in order to effectively fulfill the ministry God has given them. That means preaching God’s Word, and that means reliance on the Holy Spirit.
MW: So Kent, we wanted to talk to you about a topic. I don’t know if you pitched this to us or we pitched it to you. But you had a lot of interest in this preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit, so we want to unpack that a bit. But I want to start with a story, a backwards story, a negative story. Can you think of a time when you’ve preached or maybe a season in your life when you preached where you’re not really preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit?
KE: Yeah, well, as I said, I came out of pastoral ministry. So when I was an associate pastor—you preach every 6 weeks—things were a lot easier. Suddenly I’m preaching every week as a full-time senior pastor, and why am I hit-and-miss? What’s missing? I’m doing my work in the commentaries, I’m studying, I’m doing everything my teachers told me. Why are there some weeks I am preaching and people are engaged by God’s Word, and other weeks they’re bored? And that carried over to the classroom. I was listening to a student who was preaching a sermon, it was trite, it was irrelevant, it was terrible—and I gave him an A.
MW: I’d like to be in your class.
KE: I gave him an A because he’d done everything I’d asked him to do. He had fulfilled the requirements of the course, he just hadn’t preached a good sermon. So what was missing? The problem was not him, the problem was me. I hadn’t raised to the level of consciousness something that sometimes I was doing and others did, but they weren’t doing it deliberately, they weren’t doing it consciously. What was that that I was missing?
Kent Edwards is professor of preaching and leadership, and director of the doctor of ministry program at Biola University in La Mirada, California, and author of Deep Preaching (B&H).