Most people watch television, so public speakers including preachers should thereby learn some presentational skills.
This being so, preachers who cannot read the Scripture clearly and intelligibly are without excuse. It is sometimes evident from the wrong emphasis they use in their reading of Scripture that they do not understand what they are reading.
What about preaching? The ‘eh … eh … eh’, non sequiturs and mumbling in so many sermons would not last ten minutes in a television broadcast. Have such preachers learned nothing from the presentational skills on television?
The Lord complains about slovenly standards. He asks if their governor would accept such sub-standard offerings Mal 1:8. He points out that the heathen give more respect to their deities than the children of Israel gave to their God Mal 1:14. Similarly the ungodly work hard to raise their standards of presentation, while preachers serve up any offering in their sermons. Such preachers who cannot preach are a reproach to the Cause of Christ.
Why are so many preachers unable to identify and press the buttons that need to be pressed?
We have national churches which have failed their nation. Numbers attending the Christian church are collapsing at the same time as we have preachers failing to put across the essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Such preachers seem more intent upon pleasing their diminishing attendees instead of preaching something interesting and useful to draw new audiences into church.
The apostle Paul: ‘For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ’ Gal 1:10.
Such preachers seem to have no training how to assess the biblical knowledge of their hearers in order to articulate the Gospel at the appropriate level to them.
If film critics troubled themselves to critique sermons, such preachers would be shamed out of the pulpit or at least back into their study and to plead with the Lord to teach them how and what to preach to sinners with immortal souls, in need of being told how to find peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are many books highlighting Christian dogmatism and abuse, and YouTube interviews with inadequately prepared Christians who look foolish when challenged about their beliefs. Training for Christian advocacy begins in the pulpit, which should be an example to congregations of careful Christian speech, “by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” 2Cor 4:2.
The Christian church learned Christian apologetics (the defence of Christianity) in its early existence, but when Christianity became the principal religion people eased off from its defence. We now have a generation that hardly knows the Gospel because there are preachers who can hardly preach the Gospel, far less defend it.
Those preachers who do have this skill seem to have developed it personally through a keen desire to make the Gospel understood by their hearers, in obedience to the Word of God:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth” 2Tim 2:15.
“The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.”Ecclesiastes 12:10
There are many in the pulpit who were never called to be preachers by Jesus Christ. Those sent by Christ can be identified, because they are preachers who feed the church of God and arrest the ungodly instead of leaving their hearers indifferent.
5 Feb 2019: View from the Pew.