In his second letter to Timothy, Paul exhorted his young associate to “Preach the word” or “proclaim the message”. Especially since the reformation, this command has taken center stage during the meeting of the church. But, what does it mean to preach the word? When Paul commanded this to Timothy, did he have in mind what we see today? Perhaps… but, what if Paul meant something different… something simpler…
This is what Dave Black said on his blog today (5/5/2007) at 8:10 a.m.:
On this Cinco de Mayo I’m sitting here thinking about my Sunday message and saying to myself, Where in the New Testament is there the “well-crafted homily”? Where is the excellency of speech that is so highly sought-after in preachers today? Does not the beauty of New Testament preaching lie in a completely different direction? Should not our preaching be like that of our Lord and His great apostle? Jesus spoke in the very simplest language with mundane illustrations. Paul eschewed the excellence of human oratory. I want my public speaking to be powerful (in the Spirit) and passionate (in the spirit) but I also want to be understood by the commonest man from the workaday world. May God forgive me for the times I’ve sought to dress up the simple Word in the gaudy garments of worldly wisdom.
Fancy sermons that focus on rhetoric as much as content inadvertantly teach people that they cannot preach the word. But, I think Jesus expected all believers to teach and proclaim his message. Let’s model this for other believers.