Preaching the Word of God is fruitful
It also offers built-in needed accountability
By Brian Koonce
December 13, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Alliteration, three points, a poem and prayer. They’re the cliché components that make up any good sermon. Toss in “short” and you’ve got the makings of a great sermon, so it’s been said.
Yet the most important component to effective preaching isn’t necessarily a perfectly outlined, three-point sermon and a polished delivery, Monte Shinkle, pastor, Concord Baptist Church, told preachers here while hosting a preaching workshop Nov. 28. The key is to be ready to preach the Word.
“It’s not about method, it’s not about style,” he said. “I can’t be what you are, you can’t be what I am. We’re totally different. It’s amazing that God calls us and puts us in the ministry, takes our talents and our personalities and everything that we are and pours the Word through us.”
Quoting Paul’s second letter to Timothy, Shinkle said to be an effective preacher, one must “preach the Word; be instant in season and out of season.”
Shinkle said one of his “secrets” for being constantly prepared whatever the season is preaching in series. According to Shinkle the method saves time, stress, work and can help a pastor avoid “Saturday night fever” (struggling franticly to think of the next morning’s sermon).
“Some of the most stress you have as a pastor comes on Monday: ‘Sunday’s coming, what am I going preach?’ It’s a comfort for me to know that when I finish preaching on Romans 11, the next thing on my preaching schedule is Romans 12,” he said. “Get in the Word of God and just hammer it out. You’re not grabbing a passage here and there. If that’s your method, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’ve found this can save you a lot of time.”
He said preaching in series can also help when conflicts might arise with a congregation.
“There is going to be conflict and confrontation,” Shinkle said. “[Paul] says ‘be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort.’”
He said he used to think such long-term planning would keep sermons from being fresh and responsive to needs of a church.
“We trust God to give us what people need,” Shinkle said. “He is God, and he can tell you six months ahead of time what the church is going to need. If God can guide you one individual sermon, don’t you think he can guide you to a whole series? God is going to put you in the right place at the right time to meet the right need in your congregation.”
This is where preaching in response to conflict comes in.
“This thing through the years has kept me out of trouble when it comes to reproving and rebuking,” he said. “If you’re preaching through 1 Corinthians, and there’s an outbreak of tongues talking in your church, you can deal with it. You didn’t know it was coming, you didn’t see it on the horizon and you didn’t plan your preaching to deal with this problem. If someone in your church is living in adultery and if your next sermon is on adultery, they can’t say ‘he’s picking on us.’ It also holds you accountable to deal with those issues, since people will notice if you skip it.”