So this one’s for all the preachers out there.
For the longest time I gravitated toward a style of preaching that I liked more than another. I liked inductive, narrative style preaching (I still do). But the flip side of this preference is that I disdained most other ways of preaching. I’m not talking about just disliking other styles. I mean I really disdained preaching that wasn’t like mine. And what’s worse, I had theological reasoning for it. And the worst of all preaching (for me) was the practical/pragmatic kind. I didn’t like the kind of preaching (or preachers) that would put this grand story of God repairing the world on the bottom shelf. it seemed like they were dumbing it down, and that was not cool with me.
One of the things that I began to notice during my first few years of ministry, is how many converts I saw from Catholicism, or people coming from Presbyterian or Methodist, or other High churches. But, and here it what really started to confuse me at the time, I also saw a lot of the friends I went to Harding with, and who I had been going to church along side of move the other direction. People who had been raised up in Churches of Christ or Baptist or Pentecostal churches started finding a home in higher church traditions.
It seemed like both High church and Low church traditions had revolving doors on them.
And as I asked my incoming and outgoing friends why they were leaving or coming and they had an interesting response. For the people coming from higher church traditions, they loved the story aspect of the sermons, and how accessible they were. They had been participating in rituals for most of their lives, but had often failed to understand the significance behind them. For the people leaving these lower traditions, they were actually drawn to the ritual of it all. The stained glass, the pomp of a person moving through liturgy that had been going on for thousands of years. Continue reading The Wisdom of Preaching