Exegeting Your Congregants
A shepherd who is mindful of his congregants will become skillful in bringing God's Word to bear in the lives of their flock.
I was recently preaching in Central America to one of our church's new church plants. As you can imagine, it would be ineffective for me to preach to them in the exact same way I do each week to the congregation in Orange County, California. I would like to tell you that I spoke to my Guatemalan brothers and sisters in the language they understood, but my high school Spanish failed me—or I failed it, I can't remember which. So I preached to them, as I always have in those settings, with a translator. And because I needed a translator, my sermon was crafted and abbreviated with a sentence by sentence Spanish interpolation in view. More than that, I had to modify a number of my illustrations, explanations, and applications for the Guatemalan Christians living in a very different culture than my fellow Southern California congregants.
It is important to note that I am completely onboard with those who lament the cultural accommodation of God's truth that has plagued the modern ...