*Don’t worry, it won’t happen
My experience here has been a little limited. We got lost in Phoenix yesterday and I didn’t make it over here too early today. I missed Darrin Patrick’s message which I heard very good things about on Twitter. I caught some of Bob Pitman’s message, all of Johnny Hunt’s message and heard much of Gregg Matte’s today. Each was a good man with a good message – no quarrels. Each has been a call to a closer walk and a more powerful ministry.
But I would love to come to a convention and hear some solid, open-your-text-and-see-what-it-says preaching. Most of the sermons I have heard through the years are expo-topical. Read a text and then make some points that are loosely based on the text.
Again, this is not a criticism of the content or biblical basis of anything here. It is a stylistic thing. I also think it is an important issue. The power is not in the preacher, it is in the text – in the message not the messenger (alliterated for your Baptist enjoyment).
Now, here is where I wander into the realm of pure, unadulterated fantasy. If I were president of the SBC Pastor’s Conference (and I never will be), I know what I would do. There would be no agenda but to give pastors a chance to hear the Word for two days. There are 13 messages being preached in this conference. I assume that is pretty standard.
I would pick a book (let’s say Ephesians) and then find 13 of the top expository preachers in America. I’d ask one to preach Ephesians 1:1-14. The next guy would take up in verse 15 and preach the rest of chapter 1. The next guy would start in chapter two. You get the picture.
For two days, we would not simply revel in the quality, expository preaching of God’s Word. We’d go through an entire book of the Bible in 13 messages – just hitting the highlights.
I’m guessing it will never happen.
Let me say again that I think that Vance Pitman has put together a good conference – no criticism here. I’m just saying I would rather hear the Word preached that hear inspirational messages about preaching and pastoring.
Maybe, as some have asserted, I am just an oddball.
Addendum: I wrote this earlier in the day, but couldn’t find wi-fi to post it. Finally got it going this evening and I am glad to give an update.
We were blessed to hear a message from John Piper, who exegeted the first phrase of the Lord’s Prayer masterfully and exposed the meaning of the text artfully. That is what I think that preaching ought to be. Laying beside all the controversy about his theology, I was just blessed to hear a powerful expository message. I’d love to hear more of that.