Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Mark Driscoll prepares his sermons is not something a pastor would want to emulate

Over at Sermon Central is the summary of Mark Drsicoll's facebook chat about Preaching and his Q & A. I hope pastors would be a little wary of trying to imitate Mark.
Mark Driscoll begins his discussion by admitting that his approach is both unorthodox and not something that others should copy. One asks then what is the benefit of talking then about his method? If it is merely to engage others and discuss helpful insights, OK, but he does spend a lot emphasizing speech and 10000 hours of preaching.

His first disclaimer is that the Bible speaks very little on preaching, however that is not helpful at all in that what it does tell us is very instructive for our preaching and is adequate to know what things are central in Preaching.

You can read volumes on Preaching and it’s basis in Scripture.

When someone says this we need to take a second look and see what Scripture says on this matter. It tells us from the OT for example that the Scribes read the Word and gave it’s sense to their hearers. Too little is said in this “discussion” regarding 1. That we are called to faithful teach the Scriptures and 2. Preachers model to the flock by their preaching how to interpret God’s Word and then apply it.

Mark talks about how his early preaching was terrible, but to say pragmatically that if you get to 10000 hours of preaching you will be quite better misses the point. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will be a better preacher, that is, one faithful to the Word, it just means you’ll be a better speaker, more comfortable with your “presentation.” But our calling is to faithfully and accurately divide the word and declare its sense so that people may apply it to their lives.

Mark has a degree in speech and there is no doubt he is a good speaker and captivating communicator but that does not mean he is necessarily a good exegete making clear the Scriptures and applying them to his hearers. I remember his sermon on worship from the book of Revelation chapter 5 where he is novel in his interpretation and not consistent with the text. Doesn’t he realize in his preaching he models for the flock his method of interpreting and applying the Scripture? This is a serious and lofty calling, to preach the Word of God.

Does that mean we always get it right? No, but because we are accountable to the Lord we deal carefully with the Word of God and secondly, being accountable to the flock including the elders we are able to be corrected and come back to the flock to say I was wrong at this point, or need clarification what I was trying to say.

And what does it say of your regard to the flock when we hear you say all my early sermons were terrible until I got my hours up? If you mean your delivery was painful, ok, but surely Mark you are not suggesting that your exposition of the text was wrong.

Be aware my friends of these things and don’t treat such comments lightly. You just cannot equate prep time with the amount of time you spend preaching it. No matter how many books you read or write. Now we may be too harsh at this point, after all he did say “for various projects ( perhaps we should understand here ‘sermon series’ ) I am reading and studying all the time” which implies sermon preparation is actually longer than the one hour or so he starts off mentioning. If this is so, then we need to understand, that this time of study is actually part of the prep time for a sermon.

I do hope at this point he also means he is considering the passage in context and doctrinally as well as considering the original languages and what they point out.

In this case preparation for most preachers just cannot be done by most people in about an hour no matter if they have a photographic memory or not.

Just a few thoughts to ponder

In Christ,


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