Monday, June 11, 2007

Loving the Subject and Loving People

An Idea From… Preaching that Connects1

Those of us who love reading, who love thinking and ideas, who love knowledge – both the learning and teaching of it – constantly struggle with temptations; temptations to intellectual pride, temptation to accumulate knowledge for its own sake, rather than for the sake of loving serving God and others. Here is how this book addresses the issue, in chapter 1:

Two quotes:

“I like to teach a subject more than I like to teach people.”
“We love the subject more than our people.”

And then the remedy:
“The first act of love in preaching is an act of self-denial – to become more interested in people than in the subject. That means giving up the love of knowledge and replacing it with a love for people.

“We need to learn to put our knowledge in the service of the people, in terms and ways they can appreciate, not because we have to oversimplify the message, but because we love the people so much that we’ll do whatever it takes to communicate it with them.”

1Galli, Mark and Larson, Craig Brian (1994) Preaching that Connects: using journalistic techniques to add impact (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan). Quotes from pp.15-16

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