The Preacher’s Burden

Recently, I wrote Developing the Preaching Gift where I listed five steps I am taking to grow as a communicator. One of the steps is to (periodically) review Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones (for more on this book, see my post, One-Point Preaching).

I am in the process of reviewing the book now. At one point, Andy Stanley shares his dad’s perspective on preaching. Charles Stanley says …

You’ve got to have a burden. That’s the thing most preachers are missing. A burden. If they don’t have a burden it’s just a bunch of fluff. (113)

Andy says “you can tell when a communicator is carrying a burden versus when he (or she) is simply dispensing information” (113).

Andy notes that the key to finding your burden is by answering the questions, “What is the one thing I must communicate? What is it that people have to know?” (114).

The benefit of having a burden is that it “brings passion to preaching. It transforms lifeless theology into compelling truth” (114).

I’ve preached sermons where it felt like I had a burden. I’ve also preached sermons where it felt like all I was doing was dispensing information. I much prefer preaching with the preacher’s burden!

2 thoughts on “The Preacher’s Burden

  1. Randy Robinson says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Randy. After 8 years as a district superintendent, I am facing the return to Sunday by Sunday preaching as opposed to episodic guest speaking. There is a huge difference. I want to have the “one thing” burden to which you refer. I deeply desire to communicate through preaching much differently than I did 8 years ago. Pray for me, and thanks again for your focused reflection.

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