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I often talk about preaching to “Real People Going Through Real Issues.”
I use the term “Preaching to Grandma and Dem?”
Preaching to “Grandma and Dem” is an attempt to insure that your preaching has rigor and depth, but it is to real people going through real things in real life.
First, I need to say that this kind of preaching is not about changing the materials. You still use commentaries. You still use the same methods to talk to these folks…It is just going to all your resources with the concerns of real people.
You are not trying to preach to your seminary professor. No you are preaching to somebody who just lost their job.
You are not preaching to prove you have done a lot of work. No you are preaching to help somebody who is sick and they don’t have the finances to pay for an important procedure.
We expect that you have a lot of material that you can’t or won’t use. The reality is that when we put together a sermon, we have a lot more than 25 minutes worth of material. You must pare it down or the people will not remember.
Preaching to Grandma and Dem helps you to pare that material down. It helps you to find that part of the material that will be helpful to real folks in real situations.
OK…That’s what it does…but how do you do it?
I have talked about it from time to time…
I want you to ask real questions of the text…
As you do your exegesis…
Ask questions that folks who are hurting will ask of the text…
Ask hard questions…
So you are reading, “I am young and now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread.” PS 37:25
Now we are tempted to read that and start shouting…
OK…I ain’t gonna say don’t shout…
But “Preaching to Grandma and Dem”…Forces me to ask some hard questions
Somebody’s forgotten Grandma is eating cat food to make ends meet. What does this text say to her? Is she forsaken?
What about the homeless family living in a car and it is getting cold outside. Does this text say something to them?
Does this text mean that if I follow the Lord, I will never have need for food?
Even Jesus asked, “My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)
What does Matthew 27:46 say to Psalm 37:25? If you ain’t struggled with that reality, you ain’t ready to preach either Matthew 27:46 or Psalm 37:25. You ain’t ready to preach to “Grandma and Dem.”
Don’t shout till you have struggled with those kinds of questions and issues.
“Preaching to Grandma and Dem” requires that you go deep into your own experience….and ask questions…Questions that our piety won’t always have us ask.
I ain’t saying preach all of your doubt, and please don’t leave people wondering if God is here with us. God is.
Preach Through Your Pain, not Around It
All I am saying is that there is a depth to preaching through pain…rather than around pain….
We will keep picking this up…Hope that helps…
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