Dr. Gardner Taylor writes: “the preacher dare not rush forth babbling bland assurances and mouthing easy answers.” This is, in my estimation a very important point. Sometimes preachers can short circuit the process of a deeper relationship with the divine and truth by rushing too quickly to an answer that is not helpful or valuable. You know of the preachers who rush so quickly to the resurrection that they don’t feel the crucifixion. They can’t enjoy “EEEAAARRRLLLYY Sunday Morning” because they haven’t fully experienced the depths of pain on Friday and the continued uncertainty of Saturday.

There is an answer to our problems, but the answer is often on the other side of pain. Preachers have the need to go down deep into the pains of real life. Preachers have the need to not merely sympathize, but to “empathize” with humanity because we are subject to the same problems that others have to deal with.

So this week as you prepare for your next sermon, I encourage you to allow pain to filter into the sermon. Experience the pain. Allow the pain to live. This will allow your sermons to connect to the people. Then, and only then, after connecting with the real pains of humanity, then show the goodness of the gospel and how it addresses the pain. True celebration requires emotionally experiencing the truth of the real Gospel confronting and overcoming real problems. Don’t short circuit the process…

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