Okay, folks, let’s face some facts and be REALLY honest about something.
The IFB culture really fights against itself on two issues – trained Pastors, and sermons.
The IFB culture is suspicious of seminary trained pastors. It’s a major issue. No kidding. Who is better equipped to lead a congregation, a preacher boy that’s read through the Bible six times, or someone who’s taken Doctrine I, II, III and IV over two years?
Who’s better equipped, someone who just is saved and that’s peachy keen, or someone who’s been saved several years, has some maturity, and studied History Of the Churches I & II?
Who is better equipped to teach a congregation how to rightly divide the word of God, a guy who’s heard every Jack Hyles sermon… or someone who’s had Hermaneutics and Homilteics?
Who has studied to shew thyself approved, the guy who just knows John 3:16, and that’s really good enough for him… or the pastor who’s had one year of GReek or one year of Hebrew?
YES, some guy can just get a KIng James Bible, read it through a bunch of times, and pastor a church. I know one man who did it And he preaches expositorally, and man, I would seriously have trouble keeping up with him. But my point is… he’s a rarity. Most of the rest of us need the 4 years of seminary.
I know a lot of you will disagree. But I’m about to get into the second issue where IFB bites itself, and that’s…
…most IFB pastors cannot preach their way out of a wet paper bag. Honestly. I’ve gone through several years of trying different IFB pastors, and listening to their sermons. Results?
LIttle scriptural content.
Very little in the way of rightly dividing the word.
Congregation enjoys the sermon, but is incapable of connecting the text the pastor preached on, to his message.
And very often, repetetive and dull.
In other words, virtually indistinguishable from… Joel Osteen.
And I’m not just talking about modern IFB preachers… I’m literally speaking of some of the famous ones of yesteryear. You can point to famous pastors whose megachurches of yore started colleges and universities to teach would-be pastors. I’m talking about famous IFB pastors who I’ve listened to, who had radio programs.
Listen, I insist on one simple thing with a sermon… John 3:16. I preach on it. You do an exit interview with someone in the congregation, and they should be able to tell you my point was, “You need to be saved”, and how I connected the text to the message.
If you can’t do that… you flopped. Your sermon was a waste of time.
If I preach on 1 Peter 3:15, most people leaving the church should be able to tell you the message was about defending your faith, that many atheists just FESTER to challenge your faith, and that you should be able to be ready to give a reason for your faith… and the first step is, learning WHY you believe what you believe.
If I preach on 1 Peter 3:15, and you can;t answer, “What was the sermon about?” and, “how do you do that?”, I flunked.
Danny Castle is very good at taking one text, breaking it down, and making it stick, and boy, you better NOT be backsliding in his church! He’s very unique. I’m not talikng about him at all.
It’s time we stopped doing a disservice to our churches.
Seriously. We’ve got our doctrine right (some of us). We’re serious about the LORD! And sure, we live for him, fight for him, have the right Bible, and… we’re leaving our congregations completely defenseless against the devil, because they can’t rightly divide the word. Whose fault?
So, over the next few posts, i’m going to show how to read a text, learn it, rightly divide it, and… preach it.
The rest of you, just read along, enjoy… and learn some added techniques you can add to your Bible study methods.
Because it’s very possible that God’s sent someone here to begin to learn how to preach. You’re called, buddy. You just don’t know it.
Yeah, I’m talking to you!