I don’t know how I missed this fantastic post on The Gospel Coalition about two types of sermons. Oh, actually I do know how. Two words: lindy hop (in case you’re interested, here’s a taste of what I got to see in person last weekend. Skye and Frida are amazing).
But back to what I was saying … as I’m catching up on podcasts I heard Chris Rosebrough read from this post by Chuck Collins on Tullian Tchividjian’s blog at TGC. Collins’ post “There are Only Two Kinds of Sermons” is a must read if for some reason you missed it when it was posted a couple of weeks ago.
Collins writes that one of his biggest regrets in life is that “for much of my 30 years of ordained ministry I have not preached ‘the gospel.’ By-and-large I have been a nice man standing in front of nice people, telling them that God calls them to be nicer. And just about none of it was life-changing.”
My jaw dropped as I heard this admission — not because it is surprising to learn that someone had managed to not preach the gospel for so long, but because after years and years he realized it, corrected it and regretted it!
Collins continued: “I have come to see that there are really just two ways to preach: one is the gospel, the other is get-better messages. The first is based on God’s goodness; the second on self-improvement. Gospel preaching presupposes that, even though we deserve punishment for our sins, Jesus Christ suffered the punishment in our place on the cross. Get-better sermons, on the other hand, is moralistic advice in which a preacher mounts a pulpit to scold the people for not doing more or getting better (F Allison).”
His piece about the two types of sermons can be read in its entirety at The Gospel Coalition website. I highly recommend that if you’re in a “self-help” sermon kind of church you consider taking Collins’ advice to “get up and run out of there as fast as your depressed legs can take you.” If you’re a pastor or preacher I hope this will give you reason to take a look at what you’ve been preaching. If it hasn’t been the gospel please return to the good news that your flock needs to hear.
- The Gospel (steakandabible.com)
- David Prince: Advice on how to preach Christ from the Gospels (steakandabible.com)