For the most part, just decent biblical preaching is the meat and vegetables your church needs to grow healthy and strong.
In one sense preachers have always felt pressure. In the past, the position of church minister was respected in the community, along with other leadership roles in society.
These days the pressure often feels more cynical, with a world ignoring us until they have some dirt to celebrate.
In another sense, there is an increasing pressure on preachers. In the past people might hear a Billy Graham once every few years, and perhaps they would be exposed to other preachers a little more often.
Today people get to listen to some brilliant communicators, often in edited form, on podcasts throughout the week. As preachers we can feel the pressure that comes from expectation built by podcast.
To use an analogy, the famous preacher is a bit like a fine chef in a restaurant (assuming the famous preacher is actually a good preacher!) A periodic meal in a restaurant is a real treat.
However, these days, people effectively have the option of fine dining multiple times each day. Then Sunday comes and it is back to normal food for a disappointing change.
Remember that children grow into healthy adults based on a continuing supply of reasonably healthy food. I don’t know many families that offer haut cuisine day in and day out.
In the same way, if you are providing the regular diet for your church, know that the bar is not set impossibly high.
Preach messages that are solidly biblical, as clear as you can manage, as engaging as possible, with relevance underlined for your congregation.
Every now and again you might manage a stunning illustration, or a particularly satisfying turn of phrase. But for the most part, just decent biblical preaching is the meat and vegetables your church needs to grow healthy and strong.
And if they like to listen to a brilliant podcast? Great, encourage it.
Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. This article first appeared on his blog Biblical Preaching.
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