Over the years, Sunday after Sunday, I have listened to hundreds of sermon presentations, some of them with good theological content and some of them with bad theological content. I even delivered some of both varieties. Strangely however, God still takes what he wants to use and speaks to his community and individuals therein regardless of good or bad content. He is not, and will not, be contained by our good or bad study habits and delivery.He is not, and will not, be contained by our good or bad study habits and delivery.
However, that does not mean that we should be slackers and simply present some warmed over popular view of any biblical theme without having a critical thought in our mind that might challenge the status quo. As an illustration of this, during the “healing revivals of the ’50s of last century,” there were many traveling tent and arena evangelists who preached some pretty poor stuff and God would turn around and heal someone in the audience. Often the healing gave support to the belief that what was being said was being authenticated by God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God simply heals who he wishes to heal regardless of what was said. His results do not vindicate our words or methods.
The same can be said about preaching. Bad popular content with no critical thought remains bad popular content with no critical thought regardless of what God does with it. We should not fall into the trap of thinking that we can produce shoddy stuff for his kids and it’s okay because in poor theological vernacular say, “he showed up.”
Our job as communicators of his word in our sermons and teaching is to do the best possible job of critically thinking through what we are going to say and then give it a go, rather than just simply saying the same old trite stuff that mostly falls on deaf ears even though the Spirit might say, “those who have ears….”