Perspectives VI: Failing the Task of the Preacher
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such
we will incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1, NASB)
Something has been troubling me for years. The state of preaching the Word of God today often leaves me in a state of melancholy. I have spent countless hours wrestling with my own thoughts about this particular issue. Having listened to various preachers-in three different countries-try to teach the Bible has left me wondering where this whole enterprise went wrong. The task of the preacher is twofold: 1) to correctly interpret the text of Scripture; and 2) to apply the text in a way that is relevant to the audience and is borne out of the correct interpretation of the text. The task of preaching is usually failed by either being too focused on interpretation, thus being more like a Bible study or lecture, or by being too focused on application.