How to preach to a specific community of people, not disconnected individuals.
I have a whole library of sermons downloaded onto the podcast app on my smart phone. My sermon library features preachers from around the globe—New York, New South Wales, Nottingham, Seattle, Sydney, and Singapore. So now, no matter where I am; I can listen to some of the world's well known and effective preachers. I have never set foot in some of the cities or churches where these preachers live and minister. I know nothing about their context or congregations. As I zip around the UK on trains, planes, and automobiles, in one sense this rootless, context-less sermon appreciation doesn't matter. Podcasted sermons are good news for me as I get to listen to some great Bible preaching.
But at the same time I also wonder if this is bad news for preaching. At times I feel like I'm listening to only half a telephone conversation. Listening to these globally podcasted sermons makes me ask some hard questions about the nature of preaching—and the nature of my own preaching ...