“Do it from the heart, or don’t do it at all”
As I preached on Easter Sunday, about the resurrection, a 10 year old boy (Jake Bennett) who was in the congregation, whispered to his grandfather – “why does Tope have to shout when he is preaching”. It is a good question.I don’t ever shout for effect, for preaching is not acting. I shout because I mount the pulpit to preach with three overriding emotions bubbling up in my soul – Anger, Joy and Love. These three however, have an effect on how I preach.When I have prepared well, I know the text and the structure of my sermon, but it doesn’t mean that I am ready to preach. It just means that I have a mental understanding of what the text says. Good preaching however, is not just about the science of exegesis. That is too easy and cheap and even a non Christian can probably do a good job of that.No. Good preaching happens when the Holy Spirit moves the heart of the preacher by the text, the preachers experience, and the “now” Word of God to his soul. All of these move me at an emotional and spiritual level. Emotional because my heart is involved. Spiritual because the Holy Spirit is involved.
This means that during the sermon, any one of the mentioned emotions, (Anger, Joy or Love), spill out without warning or apology. This is because when I am preaching, I am angry at satan and sin, I am joyful about salvation and hope, and I am eager to show the Love of God to the lost.
Therefore, I shout, I laugh, I cry, and I dance. Therefore, I use my voice, my hands, my legs and my eyes. Therefore, I will do it with utter conviction and passion for if I will not do it from the heart, I will not do it at all. Therefore, I engage the crowd, the best I can for I will not be ignored seeing that I carry the greatest message the world has ever heard . . .
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