|Must be a newcomer - he's looking for the chapel....|
Do you ever leave the church parking lot feeling inspired, ready to share the pastor’s evangelistic zeal, only to have it begin to dissipate 10 minutes later?
When the pastor tried to attract a more modern flock by bringing some variety to his church services, the entire 20- strong choir and organist stormed out of the church in tears overthe 'happy-clappy' service. Whatever the reason for introducing what have been described as "happy-clappy services", the Reverend Jerry Bird is learning the hard way that churchgoers can be a traditional lot. Parishioners claim their usual Sunday worship has been pushed aside in favour of a "family" service, involving guitars and tambourines.
"He has been reported by parishioners to the complaints procedure in the Church of England." Many in the congregation are professional people; retired bank managers and doctors and they have been very upset by the vicar's actions. People have left in their droves."
Another said: "It has been one horror after another. The vicar has a style which some people find rather crude. It seems that a stand-off is emerging between the vicar and his congregation."
I was waking up from the soporific effects of the kind of preaching that was one part and 99 parts .
I had never heard the sort of thing John Stott did when he preached…. It was riveting. Thrilling.
Suddenly the meaning of Bible sentences became treasure chests to be opened.
To this day I have zero interest in watching a preacher take his stand on top of the (closed) treasure chest of Bible sentences and eloquently talk about his life or his family or the news or history or culture or movies, or even general theological principles and themes, without opening the chest and showing me the specific jewels in these Bible sentences. Perhaps He Doesn’t Know They Exist?
John Stott turned the words of Bible sentences into windows onto glorious reality by explaining them in clear, compelling, complete, coherent, fresh, silly-free, English sentences. For Stott “all true Christian preaching is expository preaching. .. ”
“Exposition” refers to the content of the sermon (biblical truth) rather than its style (a running commentary). To expound Scripture is to bring out of the text what is there and expose it to view. The expositor [pries] open what appears to be closed, makes plain what is obscure, unravels what is knotted, and unfolds what is tightly packed.” (, 125ff) Yes! This is what I was starving for and didn’t even know it. Amazing! Someone is telling me what these sentences mean! Someone is making light shine on these words. It is shining so bright, I can’t sleep in this light! I am waking up from decades of dull dealing with God’s word.
Thank you. Thank you. I could care less if the pastor tells me any stories. I want to know what God means by these words! And I want to leave the church parking lot feeling inspired because the Bible came alive!