Who We Minister To

Greg Scharf, on the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has written a book called Prepared To Preach which has some very practical counsel in a number of areas of preaching ministry. One helpful passage says,

When we preach to a congregation in church we may feel confident that most have spiritual life. We see and hear their professions of faith, their love for God and flight from evil, their zeal for the Gospel, and conclude that they have been born from above. Even here, however, we may be surprised (Matt. 7:21-23). With regard to others, in whose live we do not see evidence of God's grace, we may think them not yet reborn. Again, we may be incorrect in our assessment because we cannot see their hearts. In no case are we wise to presume. In the case of the unconverted we pray that God will open blind eyes as we speak his word. In the case of the converted we will labor to establish them in the word. Proclamation of the Gospel in its broadest sense can serve both functions (Rom. 16:25). If we are wise, we will be alert to both sorts of hearers in every congregation we address. (pages 68-69)

Good counsel!

5 comments:

Milton Stanley said...

Good counsel indeed.

Bumble said...

One of the preaching books I read include this suggestion where you would draw three concentric circles as the target for the 3 types of audience you have: Seekers, Believers, and Leaders. Then make sure that you can write applicable applications for each group so everyone can take away something from your sermon.

Peter Bogert said...

Interesting idea, Bumble. Thanks!

jon said...

Hey, it is my turn to ask, "You on vacation?"

Peter Bogert said...

No - I was sick for a few days late last week and have had a few things going in addition. We got a great new sound system that has occupied a bit of my time. But I'm around here for a few more weeks. Thanks for asking!!