On the Plains of Moab Blog
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May 28, 2012, 10:52 AM

The Hardest Thing To Do


ON PREACHING & TEACHING:

“Yet further, do not repeat the same idea over and over again in other words.  Let there be something fresh in each sentence.  Be not forever hammering away at the same nail: yours is a large Bible; permit people to enjoy its length and breadth!”- Charles Spurgeon

Oh, that sounds so good!  Don't be a broken record.  Don't even get creative by saying the same thing with different words.  Don't beat that same pet peeve into oblivion.  My, my.  Such a large and endless Bible to teach from.  How on earth can preachers never get beyond saying the same thing over and over?  How can we really encourage people to enjoy the "length and breadth" of the Word when we can't seem to do it ourselves?

Someone came up to me after yesterday's sermon and smiled at me and said, "We've heard that one before" in a "I caught ya" tone of voice.  (Want to get under a preacher's skin and see him sin?  Use that line!)  Well, no, as a matter of fact, you have NOT heard that one before!  First time I ever preached that sermon here.  I did a variation of it back at the previous church where I did some time; and originally when I was a student preacher at Woodbury, I preached another form of it over a decade ago.  But, here?  No way!

Truth is, even on the rare occasion when I preach from "the barrel" -- they always change.

Ah, but then, as Sunday afternoon wears on, I realize, maybe I am saying the same things over and over under the pretext of different texts of Scripture?  Perhaps.  Ouch!  Here is the realization that dawned on me:  Preaching and teaching is easy.  Preaching and teaching that is interesting, DIVERSE, thought provoking, life changing and faithful to the ENTIRE Word -- now that is just flat out hard!

My commitment to New Hope is to live into Spurgeon's advice.  My prayer is that the Word would take root and grow more fervent in your heart as you become more and more like Jesus everyday.  And, just maybe, this preacher's words would help you to that end.

 


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