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The Listener's Agenda (Part 1)

What regard should those committed to the exposition of scripture have for the felt needs of their hearers?

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PreachingToday.com: As any pastor knows, listeners have an agenda for our sermons. They have issues they'd like us to address. They have felt needs and questions they want us to talk about. How did Jesus and the apostle Paul treat the listener's agenda? And how is that relevant to what we should do?

Bryan Chapell: They recognized two things. One, listeners had an agenda that might or might not be in accord with God's agenda. Second, Jesus and Paul acted accordingly in that they certainly put God's agenda first, but they recognized God's agenda as seeking the hearts of men and women for Christ.

Therefore, while they had in mind the glory of God, they also had in mind the edification of his people. Keeping those two things together is the goal of good preaching. If preaching is only directed at God's glory, it becomes abstraction and arrogance. If it's only directed at people's edification, it becomes entertainment and in some ways just currying favor. What really serves God's people is when ...

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