Talking To Yourself
If you go to places where there are sermons, have you ever noticed how the preacher is not even remotely talking to where the people are at in their spiritual needs? Why would this happen so often? Well, the preacher may have a preconceived idea about the audience, that they are just like him in their interest. Or the preacher may have an agenda, a message, that they want to get out, that they judge the people should hear. The preacher may have made a judgment about the state of the listener, and confuses this judgment with a sense of knowledge about the listener. In a nutshell, the preacher may be in a whole different place than the listener, but the preacher is clueless. There is no effort to find out, from the people, what is their need. The preacher decides what they need, such as a good kick in their deficient moral character. I have seen preachers wax on and on to a group of way retired people, about abortion and birth control. I get the idea that the only reading the preacher does is in something that supports their already formed idea of how things should be. I get trashed for preaching stories, even fairy tales to children, to make my point, when another preacher thinks the same children should get a good dose of catechism. So be it. My criterion is to ask myself what will help the children to become more of who God made them to be? God is in story. Read the Bible. Maybe I should just retire.