Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Attracting Listeners to Sermons

I have been reading a book called The Scottish Pulpit by William Taylor. Various well-known preachers are assessed by the author, including Samuel Rutherford. In his assessment of Rutherford, Taylor proposes a way of having a successful preaching ministry. This is what he suggests:

'Grosart says of Rutherford's practical discourses that their one merit is "that they are full of the exceeding great and precious promises and truths of the Gospel," and that "they hold forth with wistful and passionate entreaty a crucified Saviour as the one centre for weary souls in their unrest, and the one hope for the world." But, after all, is not that the "one thing needful" in all preaching? And it is for that especially that I would hold him up for an inspiration to you. Like him preach the living, personal Christ, once crucified, but now risen and reigning as the Saviour and Sovereign of men. Unfold His loveliness. Proclaim His merits. Hold up Himself. Let the truth which you declare to be the truth as it is in Him. Let the faith to which you urge be faith in Him. Let the loyalty which you enforce be loyalty to Him. Let the heaven which you hold before your hearers be to be with Him, and to be like Him. "Hold you there," and let your words be such as love to Him shall inspire, then you shall not lack hearers, and shall not need to lament the absence of results.'
I have no idea whether or not such preaching guarantees success. But all I can say is that it would be a nice way to be a failure.

2 comments:

Michael said...

Brother, thank you for that piece. It warmed my own heart and is a wonderful reminder of what we do.

Michael said...

Oh, let me add. Let me be such a failure!