By Victor Ochieng
Many preachers, especially newbies, still find it a challenge sharing the Gospel Word in creative ways that appeal to their listeners. It’s always a struggle, with some going as far as trying to copy what other renowned preachers are doing. The risk with this is that once your listeners realize you’re not original, they’re likely not to give you the attention you need.
These are some of the reasons why Robert Smith Jr. chose to share some tips on how best to preach the Word, doing so in a creative way yet with integrity to the Word.
Smith first points out some of the biblical figures who shared the gospel message in very creative ways. Take Prophet Jeremiah, for example, whenever he was sharing the Word, he’d use natural language and examples to ensure that his text was well understood. When he wanted to demonstrate the kind of destruction that was coming upon the Valley of Ben-hinnom, he used a pot, which he smashed just to illustrate the irreparable state in which the valley would end up into.
According to the message of the LORD in Jeremiah 19:6-9, we read, “And so it’s payday, and soon’—God’s Decree!—‘this place will no longer be known as Topheth or Valley of Ben-hinnom, but Massacre Meadows. I’m canceling all the plans Judah and Jerusalem had for this place, and I’ll have them killed by their enemies. I’ll stack their dead bodies to be eaten by carrion crows and wild dogs. I’ll turn this city into such a museum of atrocities that anyone coming near will be shocked speechless by the savage brutality. The people will turn into cannibals. Dehumanized by the pressure of the enemy siege, they’ll eat their own children! Yes, they’ll eat one another, family and friends alike.’”
God gave him the Word and he fittingly shared it as he’d been instructed. That’s the same thing that happens to those who’re called by God to be preachers. He empowers them; gives them all they need to share the Word creatively.
Smith says it shouldn’t be a struggle. It’s important to take the text, let the text bring forth its own creativity and then, as the preacher, marry the pre-existing creativity of the text with the natural gifting that the LORD has given you.
About a quarter-century ago, Smith shared the Word from Acts 12, where James was beheaded and Peter was spared. While sharing the scripture, he chose a musical approach to it. He presented the minor chord, the death of James, and the major chord, the sparing of Peter, and married the two, wrapping it all up in the statement that “the Word of God continues to increase.” So, he told his audience that God gives us grace when we’re going through the minor chord, characterized with gloom and despair, and he moves us to leave them behind when he gets us to the major chord.
At the end of it all, God will accomplish His purpose and His word will increase.,