Preaching with VIM, Not Just Vigor
How to preach one theme for a year in a way that really results in Christ-like spiritual formation
I still remember my first sermon as a pastor. In a fit of homiletical hubris that every seminarian will recognize, I decided to impress my new congregation by unlocking the mysteries of the Minor Prophets. I began with a message from Hosea on the holiness of God. As I prepared that week, I became convinced that this could well be the most important sermon I would ever preach. If we were to grasp the holiness of God, it would surely transform our lives, and our church would never be the same. I preached that message with passion and expectancy. But when I looked out over the congregation the next Sunday, we were pretty much the same crowd we were the week before.
There isn't a preacher alive who isn't at once both energized and dismayed by the sermon's potential to effect change. Why aren't people more deeply transformed by their weekly encounters with God's Word? The deficiency can't be with the Scripture, obviously. And most of us, even on our worst days, manage to communicate biblical ...