This SOT student discovers that preachers of God’s Word can sometimes come in unexpected packaging …
By Clinton Dixon
As sermon introductions go, I thought I had heard and seen it all. But if last Monday’s SOT chapel session was anything to go by, that was obviously not the case.
When a young pastor opens his preaching with a live rendition of the 80’s Guns and Roses rock anthem “Sweet Child O’ Mine” you begin to think this is not church as we know it. Then when that same pastor starts jumping around the stage like Axl Rose in his heyday (kids please don’t try this at home) your understanding of what’s usual in church preaching becomes somewhat void.
Penang, Malaysia isn’t exactly a hotbed of rock stardom but it didn’t stop Ps. Saras from scything his way through a very engaging and entertaining sermon on seeking a “God moment.” As the preaching began, I started to wonder and marvel at how incredibly diverse and distinctive God’s preachers are. If a 30-something, flannel-shirted Indian preacher hailing from the world’s laksa capital can pull off an intro and sermon like that you just have to rejoice that our God is not a God of monotony.
With preaching tests around the corner, I began to reminisce at the hundreds of different sermons I have listened to over the years and how much like the preachers preaching them no two were alike. Whether it’s Pastor Phil Pringle’s faith-filled messages, Dr A R Bernard’s deep-edged philosophical thinking or even Canon J John’s deceptively simple yet revelatory sermons, the message of Christ may be the same but the delivery couldn’t be any more different. They say variety is the spice of life and it would seem from the spiritual servings we receive at church every week there is no room for any form of blandness in God’s spiritual “menu” for us.
SOT students have also a host of assignments deadlines looming at the end of the month and this had me feverishly reading my way through James Braga’s How To Prepare Bible Messages. It has been an eye opening reading to say the least, giving me more impetus to praise and respect the men and women who preach the word of God. Whether it is a textual, topical or expository sermon (ok, this is still new to me also) I had no idea how much blood, sweat and tears were required to produce a world-class sermon. I remember Pastor Kong saying that he can spend up to three days preparing a sermon and from what I have been reading, this does not surprise me one bit.
Next time, when you sit back and relax among the congregation on a Sunday morning, spare a thought or three for the brave men and women of God who preach His word. God moves powerfully through willing people and if your salvation was anything like mine it was through these willing people that we first discovered God, our salvation and our new-found spiritual destiny.