Preaching That Connects -- By: David Jackman

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 29:1 (Spring 2008)
Article: Preaching That Connects
Author: David Jackman

Preaching That Connects

1. External Connections: Strategy And Resources1

David Jackman*

*David Jackman is President of the Proclamation Trust and has been in ministry since 1968.

I. Negatives Of Preaching

I don’t suppose that it has ever been easy to be a faithful and effective biblical preacher. It has always been difficult to discover motivated and passionate servants of God, who will see this as their life’s work, rather than merely an aspect of a wide-ranging, but often diffuse and unfocused ministry package. It has been difficult for those who are motivated to remain consistent to the commitment in the light of the time it takes, the constant hard work it involves, and the frequent lack of response, let alone appreciation, among the hearers. It has been difficult to address an often hostile world and an indifferent, apathetic church in a way which engages, instructs, rebukes, corrects, encourages, and trains in righteousness those who have ears to hear, as they are taught with great patience and careful instruction (2 Tim 3:16). It has been and it still is.

Put the dip-stick into Western church history and read a book published in 1592 by the English Puritan William Perkins, entitled The Art of Prophesying (“preaching” we would say). Perkins laments the scarcity of faithful Bible-preaching ministers, a truth, he says, which is self-evident from the experience of all ages. Few men of ability seek the calling of the ministry, and of those with that honorable title, very few deserve the names of messenger and interpreter. As another later Puritan, John Milton, would put it, “The hungry sheep look up and are not fed.” Perkins traces this to three causes:

1. What he calls the “contempt” with which the calling is treated—biblical ministry is hated by the world because it reveals sin and unmasks hypocrisy.

2. The difficulty of discharging the duties. Perkins gives due regard to the fact that the care and cure of souls, to speak to

God and on his behalf to the people, is an overwhelming and awesome responsibility.

3. The inadequacy of financial recompense and equivalent social status. Who would accept such contempt and such difficulties for such a meager reward?

Instead, Perkins says, the sharpest minds of our day turn to the law. And that was 1592! Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose! Is that what you’re training for? Contempt, difficulties, and relative impoveris...

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