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The Worst Possible Advice to Young Preachers

OK, I’m not sure what is the “worst possible advice” to young preachers—there is so much to choose from! But what follows has to be among the sorriest counsel ever administered to young proclaimers of the Word …

I was looking up “preach Jesus” and came upon a website that proposes to teach people to “preach sermons and live in the power of the Holy Spirit.” I read a short way into the first article. My mind was frozen by a bullet point that read: “Throw away the concordance.”

I thought, “What?” (For those unacquainted with a concordance, it’s a staple in the preacher’s arsenal. A concordance is a book of subjects with every (or selected) scripture verses listed where you may find that word used. The back of most Bibles will have a brief concordance. And yes, these days, the Internet has almost made it obsolete. I type a line from a verse into the search blank and hit “go,” and instantly I’m told where to find the verse I was looking for. It’s a wonderful help.)

Here is the paragraph, verbatim:

“You do not need a concordance, you do not need a book of scriptural reference; you do not need to look up a whole lot of stuff on the Internet; and you certainly DO NOT need any theological books written by other people. God is never boring, and He would never insult His children by offering them second-hand goods; what He will do is inspire you to share your convictions, your testimony and your own intimate knowledge of His Kingdom—IF YOU LET HIM! His offer to ‘provide all you need’ includes whatever anecdote or experience you will need. Any preacher who starts off like this: “A funny thing happened to me this week …” will be sharing right out of their own Christian walk. It will be real! If God has called upon you to preach this Sunday, He will always have ALREADY PROVIDED you with what ever you need to make your points! You will be obedient, and you will be preaching the Gospels.”

I read that and wonder how any preacher could be so far off base, so screwed up in his thinking. He thinks his testimony is greater than the Word!!

I am hardly believing this.

I had heard of such bizarre, shallow preaching, although honestly, found it hard to believe anyone would a) do it and b) counsel others to follow their example.

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Joe McKeever has been a preacher for nearly 60 years, a pastor for 42 years, and a cartoonist/writer for Christian publications all his adult life. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.