Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Training better interpreters

In the latest edition of Preaching Now Greg Dutcher describes "the danger of making our listeners too dependent on the preacher":
If the goal of ministry is to "equip the church for works of service," then how should we preachers feel about a comment like "I would have never been able to understand that psalm without you?" Sure our egos purr like a kitten with that sweet stroke, but what about the dear saint who has just confessed an inability to discover the riches of Scripture on her own? Shouldn't our preaching lead our listeners to become better and better interpreters? Won't good preaching make others less dependent on the preachers?
I think so. How about you?


Blogger Bill Williams said...

Great thoughts!
Our goal, it seems, should be to help others become "self feeders". It is much more difficult to teach someone to cook than to simply provide a meal. Likewise, it is much more difficult to teach people to be good students of the Word than to simply deliver lessons and sermons.
There is also the self-interest aspect: If we do this well, we might not "be needed".
Thanks for sharing this post with us, Milton! Blessings to you and yours!

9:10 AM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Vicki said...

Yep, a good preacher opens up the Word to us in fresh ways, guides us, spurs us on to dig deeper for ourselves, teaches us how to be good Bereans, to 'test all things,' to rightly divide the Word of truth--all that, I suppose. And though that old adage pops in my head, "You can lead a horse to water, but..." he *is* supposed to feed us.

Our dear old preacher died a couple years ago and was a humble shepherd of the flock, a friend to our family, a true godly man. As a younger believer, I hung onto his every word when I understood little of the Bible. I probably esteemed him too highly and relied on his judgements too much, but you know what? He always pointed me back to Jesus. He's with the Lord today, but his gentle reminder still echoes in my heart--"don't trust what I say, trust Jesus and His Word."

11:15 AM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

give a man a fish and you feed him for a day... teach him how to fish and you feed him for life...

4:04 AM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, Bill. "Self-feeders": I'll have to remember that one. Peace.

10:11 AM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Vicki: That's a fine testimony of what we're talking about. When we're young Christians, I think it's natural to assign too much esteem to our spiritual leaders. It's wonderful to hear that yours kept pointing to the source. Peace.

10:12 AM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Good point. My question is: what do you give a man to make him a bluefish?

10:13 AM, July 13, 2006  

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