Kevin DeYoung has an excellent post (as usual) titled Nine Marks of an Unhealthy Church. The whole post is definitely worth your time, however, I thought his first mark of unhealth was particularly intriguing and insightful.
The more peripheral the sermon topic, the more excited the people become.
One of the things I’ve always loved about University Reformed Church (the church Kevin Pastors) is that the sermons they love most are the ones that deal with the most central themes of the Bible. They love to hear about sin and salvation, about the glory of God, about providence, about Christ and the cross. It’s not that they never hear (or dislike) sermons on the end times or social issues or financial stewardship or marriage or parenting, but they seem most passionate about the messages that major on guilt, grace, and gratitude. I’m concerned when a congregation gets tired of hearing about the Trinity, the atonement, the new birth, or the resurrection and wants to hear another long series on handling stress or the 70 weeks in Daniel.
So what sermon topics excite you? What sermon topics bore you? What does that say about the state of your soul or the maturity of your Christian faith? Do you yearn for the things God has emphatically revealed or do you simply want to be entertained or inspired? Do you desire your pastor to major on the majors or do you want him to spend his time on your little theological hobby horses?
What do your sermon preferences say about your soul’s health?
I love hearing sermons of prophecy, and history, incorporated with testimonies of how God has changed people’s lives. I loved the Unshackled radio programs produced by the Union Gospel Mission. Broken lives transformed by the power of God are so inspiring.
I love to hear sermons that peel the scales from my eyes. I love the truth and the moments when I see clearly and can have a look through the holy spirits eyes… Its always so shockingly beautiful!!
Lets face it, there is nothing like the word of God that really fills us up. I have tried everything in the past and being a leader in the enemies camp for so long I can say the sermons that I love the most now are from the parables… strait from the mouth of Christ. I can hear them a thousand times and still there is more to learn. His words are eternal even when we botch them up they find a way to hit you with a clear dose of truth.. amen