[This article was first posted in August 2012] When I came across this church “marketing advert” I was reminded of something that Alistair Begg once said:
A good church is a Bible-centered church. Nothing is as important as this–not a large congregation, a witty pastor, or tangible experiences of “the holy Spirit”. – Alistair Begg
It seems these days church services are geared to be social entertainment events created to provide a euphoric buzz but the least emphasised aspect seems to be Biblical teaching and discipleship. No wonder some so called pastors have very little or even no reverence for God.
“At best we are but clay, animated dust; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a miracle that the Lord Jesus should set His heart’s love upon people like us.”― Alistair Begg
Its very easy to make the modern day pulpit the center of attention rather than what is proclaimed from it. And therefore a good sermon must come forth with clarity and depth. And so must preparation for it. Alistair Begg pulls no punches on sermon preparations in this excerpt from his book ‘On Being a Pastor‘ (co-authored with Derek Prime).
“I remain fascinated by the variety of approaches that preachers take in preparing their sermons. In our preparation, as well as in our delivery we must ‘to our own selves be true.’ When I am asked to summarise my method of preparation, I mention the following points, which I learned from the late Leith Samuel….
1. Think yourself empty. As strange as it may sound, we must be careful to ensure that we do not avoid sound thinking. The temptation to respond emotionally to a passage (this is how this makes me feel) is not unique to our listeners. If we are to have ‘thinking’ congregations it is incumbant upon us to be ‘thinking’ pastors’! We do not want to be uncertain by the time our study ends, but it is surely right and proper to begin with the perspective, ‘I must know what this says, and I must learn what this means.’Read More