Over the years I have changed my speaking style at least 4 times.
I have preached with one point.
I have preached with many points.
I have preached using videos.
I have preached using drama.
I have preached sitting down.
I have preached standing up.
I have preached with a pulpit.
I have preached with no pulpit.
Anything to reach people for Christ.
At the same time, I have settled on and gone back to what I know best: preaching through the Bible verse by verse - with practical application.
I love the Word of God. I believe that ultimately, all of the answers that we need are in the Bible. All of the assurances that we need are in the Word of God.
It has been said, "In using phrases like 'The Bible says' we assume a person is a Christian, because only a Christian takes the Old Testament and the New Testament as authoritative. So if I am going to preach to people who aren't Christians I have to leverage a different point of authority if I am going to expect them to track along with me." Basically, what this says, is that we should avoid using the phrase, "the Bible says."
Let's talk about that.
When I say, "The Bible says," (which I do all the time when I teach) I am declaring that I am not speaking on my own authority but rather on God's authority as an "ambassador of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20).
What some say is a barrier to reaching people for Christ - I believe is just the opposite - it is the source of evangelistic power.
I believe the power of God is released as God's Word is spoken - that there is a spiritual dynamic that takes place (in the supernatural) as the Scriptures are shared.
Lives are changed, not even necessarily by the style of the preacher, or the way it was shared, but simply by the Word of God (and it is God's Word to us) as it is shared.
To exaggerate just a little: It would be a great experience to just read a book of the Bible on Sunday morning (or several chapters) - give an "altar call" and go home. I believe we would be amazed at the results.
We need to realize once again that when Scriptures are spoken it is as if they were God: Galatians 3:8; Genesis 12:3; Romans 9:17; Exodus 9:16.
And that when God is spoken of it is as if He were the Scriptures: Matthew 19:4,5; Genesis 2:24; Acts 4:24,25; Psalms 2:1; Acts 13:34,35; Isaiah 55:3; Psalms 16:10.
Paul declares in 2 Timothy 3:16, 4:2, that "All Scripture is breathed out by God" and then Paul subsequently commands shepherds of Christ to "preach the Word."
The implication is that preachers should unapologetically declare the divine origin and authority of the entirety of the Bible.
The divine origin of Christ-centered biblical revelation is the reason it has the power to "make you wise for salvation." (2 Timothy 3:15)
I am for using videos. I am for using drama teams to accentuate the principles of God's Word.
But as Jeff Foxworthy once said (as only he can), "If your preacher needs smoke bombs, rock bands, theater lights, dramatic skits, and circus acts to keep people interested - then you might need a new preacher."
Gang, let's be people of God's Word. Let's be "counter-cultural" and know that the Word of God is an absolute - in an age where there are no absolutes. Let reaffirm that the Word of God is powerful - and in itself - can change lives.
"The Bible says...."
Just a thought for a Wednesday.