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May 11, 2006

Comments

Jason Gammons

So you're saying JT's a stud?

Matt Adair

Something like that...

Brian T. Murphy

I'm not sure I think that preaching sucks. maybe I do. I just think people don't really listen to sermons.

isn't everyone just like me?

Jason Gammons

Brian,
I think that there are a lot of people who don't listen to sermons. Just like there are a lot of people who don't really pay attention the words of the songs/hymns that they are singing in worship, etc. But I don't think that they are anywhere near a majority. At every church I have been to, even with horrible preaching, it looked like the majority (75% if you need a number) of folks were paying attention to the sermon. I think that I am right about that because folks are making eye contact with the preacher, and don't have that blank look on their faces like I do when I am daydreaming at work. I think that folks come to church to receive a balm on their hurting souls, whether they are believers or not, as discussed well in Abby's post over on Mumblety-peg. The gospel preached is one of the key elements (lord's supper being the other one) in that balm. Hymns and songs play a large role, but preaching is one of the top two. Since most churches don't have the lord's supper every Sunday (the propriety of which is certainly open to debate), hearing the gospel and applying to their hurting lives is the one thing that folks, in my opinion, cling to in their service. That's why poor preaching i.e., no gospel or "purpose driven parking lot" sermons (I am not making that title up) bother me so greatly. People must be continually reminded of the power of the gospel in their lives. Preaching is the clearest way that is communicated. Hymns and songs definately help and are a vital component, but don't carry the potential that good preaching does. I could keep going, but must get back to billing clients.

Matt Adair

Brian,
This is probably why some of my wiser (i.e. older) brothers and sisters in our church hate it when I say 'sucks' in a sermon - sometimes it's not as clear a term as it needs to be. Sorry if I misrepresented you.

I will say that I know more than a handful of people in both of our communities who really, really hate the idea of a guy standing up and saying anything that sounds authoritative - I mean it makes them all bug-eyed and crazy. That is different from my friends who tune me out on Sunday mornings (they know who they are and so do I and I do love them) for various reasons (personality, laziness, fatigue, etc.).

This quote just came through my inbox - "Preaching is an activity of bridge-building between the revealed Word and the contemporary world." My job is to connect people's real issues (not just their perceived issues) to Jesus. My hope and prayer is not that people might see how hard I work to make that happen (I honestly don't give two figs about being anything but the conduit for God to speak) but that God might take my pitiful little effort and enflame the minds and hearts of people with a passion to make much of him with their lives.

By the way, for those of you reading this, Brian is the mastermind behind Red Mountain Music, which is about to release their second CD of older hymns put to new tunes. Brian and the rest of his crew are brilliant musicians and you should go immediately to http://www.redmountainchurch.org/rmm/ and buy everything you can.

Matt Adair

Oh and Brian, if everyone was like you, you'd have nobody to be hacked off at...and that would make everyone else's world alot more boring.

Brian T. Murphy

matt - thanks for the kind words. I'm still sorting out why sermons make me uncomfortable.

Matt Adair

Murph,
No problem, man. And I really do mean that - I have been personally ministered to (and our people have as well) through your efforts with RMM. As exasperating as it can be for all sides at times, I really am thankful for the reality of our differences because it reminds us that Jesus isnt in the business of creating clones. He works in each of us with all our different personalities and bents. Hope you have a great weekend.

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