• Jack Pickel

It's time for a homiletical reboot

Updated: Dec 18, 2019


Homiletics:  The art of writing and preaching sermons.

I've been preaching for 30 years.  I've read hundreds of books on preaching.  I've attended dozens of seminars and conferences on preaching.  I've preached good sermons and bad sermons. So...I've earned the right to say the following things.

And since preaching in America is probably at its lowest point ever...

Stop proof texting.   Learn to apply the proven principles of hermeneutics to every text.  Keep every text in its context.  STOP manipulating Scripture to make it say what you want it to say.

Stop using so many illustrations.  Usually people only remember the story and not the POINT of the story.

Stop using so many personal stories.    Honestly, no one is THAT interested in your life.  Also, just because God does something a certain way in your life doesn't mean he will do it the same way in another person's life.

Stop preaching on so many current events.  Our text is the Bible, not secular media.  Sometimes, yes.  A lot, no.

Stop preaching on movies.  If your congregation wants a movie, they can go to a theater.  It's not your job to interpret a film ... it's your JOB to correctly interpret the Scriptures.

Stop spiritualizing the text.  Don't invent secret codes, hidden meanings, and numerologies.  They are not there ... and you don't have a secret decoder ring that can make sense out of it.

Stop reading yourself into every text.  Away with this silly narcigetical and eisegetical preaching.  Every text is NOT about you.  Believe it or not, most Scriptural texts are about JESUS.

The above described preaching has filled most American pulpits for about 30 years now.  The result?  Congregations that don't know the Bible (preachers that don't the Bible or how to interpret it!), powerless pulpits, powerless pews, a powerless Gospel and powerless churches.

It's time for a homiletical reboot.

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