Just like anyone who begins any endeavor, a preacher must begin with a goal or purpose in mind before he crafts a message. Some people don't really think abut this so they simply default to whatever they've observed in their past.
There are several goals you can have in your preaching:
- Information -For some the goal of preaching is simply to teach the bible to people. It's kind of like a data dump. This is what the bible says, this is what it means...period.
- Inspiration -For some the goal of preaching is to simply encourage people or motivate them...you know "there is a champion in you" and like that...
- Perspiration -For some its all about getting people to do something, whatever it is. Here is what the bible says you need to do...now do it!
My goal actually embraces elements of each of those, but none are the purpose. My purpose in preaching is:
Transformation -Supporting the mission of our church, the mission in my message is life-transformation. This means that yes there will be information shared, inspiration to embrace it, we'll discuss the perspiration of applying it...but the goal is that we all are changed as a result. In other words, the information leads to heart-transformation and life-application.
This goal means two things. 1 have to really invest in the preparation and be purposeful about what I say and how I will say it. 2. I am deeply dependent on the Spirit of God both during the preparation and delivery stages to do a work only He can do...since I am not actually capable of changing anyone!