[These are Session 3 Notes from the Preach The Word 2013 Acts 29 West Regional Conference in Reno, NV]
[ UPDATE: VIDEO FROM SESSION THREE IS NOW AVAILABLE HERE ]
I’m going to address 3 questions:
-1) (preacher) – Why do you preach? (What are you trying to accomplish; what do you think about when you approach the text; what do you think about your people)
-2) (listener) – Why do you listen? (There for instruction? Relief? To be entertained?)
-3) How do you view God?
We have to ask these in seeing preaching as worship
Most people think of “worship” as singing and preaching as our “teaching time”
When the preacher gets up to preach there is an unspoken conversation happening:
Preacher – “What am I going to say to move your life, to get you to respond, that will help?”
Listener – “what do I need to hear that will actually mean something? What will make me care about my life? Why does this even matter?”
Preacher: do you preach to impress? Do you want people to know that you’re learned?
You listen to podcasts and try to mimic the popular people your people listen to rather than using your voice in your context to your people that God has sent you to!
Listener – instead of listening to your pastor you listen to pastors across the country.
You say “be my Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, Eric Mason” and the pastor can do nothing else but say “I’ll try to be”
Pastor: do you preach to inspire?
(If so, it’ll fizz out; likely by Monday afternoon, sometimes as quick as the moment they leave)
Listener: do you listen to BE inspired?
**Preaching as worship starts with your preparation in the word (what is it doing to you before you try to communicate it to others)
You must examine yourself: What is it doing in your heart before you ever step up to communicate it to someone else?
Listener: what is the word doing to your heart when you put an unfair expectation on an infallible man?
What’re you doing to prepare your heart before you listen to a sermon? (If we’re honest, it’s NOTHING) or go to work?
Life’s rough, trying, demanding. [The week is murderous and puts us at the end of ourselves] and we come on Sunday and say “give me something preacher. I need something to hold on to”
A lot of times a pastor’s week doesn’t look all that different than the listeners:
“Preaching hangover – a mixture of confusion and depressions like you’ve been drinking all night but can’t taste the liquor”
Monday preaching hangover,
Tuesday staff meeting and sports with the kids,
Wednesday you haven’t even cracked open the text you’re gunna preach on
Friday’s your day off (and if we’re honest that ends up being from God, too)
Saturday’s family day
Then you crack open your bible at 930 Saturday night and say “God give me something”
-Berkhoff and CK Barret aren’t providing any clarity,
-Chandler hasn’t preached it yet, Mason’s preaching it in 2 weeks so you can’t steal from them
-Harvey preached it but the podcast’s broke!
I’m to blame because I need you to like me
You’re to blame because you rely on me to give a 30 minute sermon (50 minutes if the guy is really really good) to save your life.
-If you take an honest look: You rely on the pastor to make you be gripped by the text and to only know God through his experience and not your own.
Preacher – Why. Do. You. Preach?
To see the word of God LIVING AND ACTIVE and to change lives in the very seat they are sitting in? Or to see them laugh and enjoy you?
Listener – why do you listen?
Let’s look at Romans 16:25
“Doxology” = “word of praise” or “WORSHIP”
After a theologically DENSE book of hitting so many concepts, Paul ends with WORSHIP.
The way preaching becomes worship (for the hearer and the preacher) is when what we are waiting for and longing for is a big view of a big God.
When I get you to turn your eyes away from your problems and to the King of Glory!
This world is not ultimate reality. God is the ultimate reality and we have access to Him through the resurrected Jesus.
Worship = worth shaped (your worth is shaped no longer around your employment, ability, abuse, but THE RESURRECTED SAVIOR)
Preaching becomes worship when our worth is shaped by the view of our great God encompassing our view of reality.
Is that why you preach?
Is that why you listen?
V25 – “now to Him who is able!”
(Big view of God, small view of my reality; that creates worship)
Do you see God as ABLE?
Are you preaching Him as able?
Do you listen with expectancy that God is ABLE? (Not your preacher or leader, not the church, but the GOD OF THE CHURCH)
V25 – to strengthen you (not give you seven steps)
From what? — a world trying to tear you down [and apart] in every direction
“Is your worth shaped around God’s ABLEness to do ALL things?”
“I cannot fix your life. I cannot teach you your best life now or create your better future. I don’t have 5 ways your wife will make love to you whenever you want to to… What we give our people, preachers, is a big view of God”
Of course you want it to be help, to apply it, but not for the sake of man made schemes to fix their lives.
Fix their heads away from their temporal reality and towards The One.
It reroutes their worship (to the source, not all the other crap the world tells us will satisfy and never does)
V27 – to the only wise God
Paul ends the book (rich in theology, rich in instruction) with a big view of God; eyes up to heaven, heart inclined to eternity, his mind/will shaped and formed by the mystery of the Gospel (god came, died, rose, delivered that we may identify to the King of Glory)
Why. Do. You. Preach?
To impress and be impressive? To inspire, entice, and engage?
•Or do you preach for God to get you out of the way so people can show up with hands filled with baggage from a week of hell, sit it at the feet of Jesus, and see God as their everything.•
Why. Do. You. Listen?
To backhand the other friend down the road about how much better your pastor is?
They don’t need that. They need to see God as ABLE
Do you listen so that the Holy Spirit will form your worth around the word of God?
Or to hear the next principle and truth that will allow you to use your own ingenuity to try and fix your own life?
•And finally: How do you see God?
Uninterested, distant, ashamed, and disconnected? A “Prime Mover” of sorts?
Or do you see Him as Paul summarizes Him?
The encompassing of ultimate reality. The overwhelming, never overstated, God of the universe
Those 3 questions will shape, every time, preacher or hearer, whether this time will be worship, or another form of exaltation to self that God is ultimately not pleased with.
“All I can think about is how great God is”
Moses couldn’t even look at Him — “get in the rock and I’ll show you my back”
Isaiah can’t say anything but “I am unclean!”
In Revelation 21 all He is described as is LIGHT
And after all of that God kneels down and says “I want to know you and be known by you”
We all address the Gospel with 3 things: Identity, idolatry, and need.
And God says “I can fulfill them all”