Thursday, June 02, 2005

Rick Warren on preaching

I don't like his politics, but this is an excellent take on preaching.

I do believe in confessional preaching. I believe that you should confess both your strengths and your weaknesses. You don't dwell on yourself, but in many ways the minister is the message. The word must become flesh. The best kind of preaching is incarnational preaching. The most effective message is when I am able to get up and say, 'This is what God is doing in Rick Warren's life this week. This is what I am learning. This is what I need to believe, what I need not to believe, what I need to do, what to not do.'


Steve Bogner said...

With that take on preaching, it seems like a continual emphasis on humility also needs to take place. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but focusing on 'I' appearing 7 times in that quote, it seems like there is a danger of developing an overinflated ego or a cult of personality if not for a counteracting force such as humility.

But you know, I am definitely not a preacher! Just my initial reaction on it....

Kevin said...


That's a great point. But I think the point Warren is getting at is that, too often, preachers tend have a pastoral persona where doubts and weaknesses are expunged, and that it is a good witness to share how the gospel is impacting the preacher's life as a day-to-day believer. Maybe this is more an issue for Protestantism than for Catholicsm.

I dunno...

Steve Bogner said...

Well, if Catholic priests were married and had kids, they'd have a whole lot more real-life experiences to share with the congregation :)

Actually, there are some married priests - a few renegade Episcopal, Methodist and Lutheran clergy who converted; but it's pretty rare in the Roman rite.

Kevin said...


That's not quite what I was getting at.

Many Prot preachers tend to have a smug, smiling persona that says "I have it all together spiritually,"

Admiting weakness, doubt, vulnerablity can help folks connect with the preacher in more authentically human ways.

But the Catholic/Protestant comment was more about how the sacrament is placed in a prominent place at worship instead of the Word proclaimed. So, there's less temptation to showmanship.

On a side note, we have a former Bishop who, after leaving office, became a RC priest.