The basis of God-centered preaching

There are many reasons why preachers don't preach God-centered messages. One of the reasons, though, has to do with the fear that preaching about God will be irrelevant to people's lives today. In other words, we fear that preaching about God will lead to sermons that lack relevance.I can understand this concern: preaching has to connect with the people sitting in the congregation before us. It isn't wrong for preachers to be concerned about relevance at all.The challenge for preachers, though, is to truly believe that there is nothing more relevant to people today than God. Nothing is more relevant to God.I was reminded of this yesterday when I received The John Piper Sermon Manuscript Library. The back of the case says:

Since 1980 John Piper has labored in the ministry of preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church under the conviction that "People are starved for the greatness of God." More than success, or riches, or esteem, or sex, or family, or sport, the glory of God satisfies the yearnings of our souls and sustains us in all our joys and pains…The glory of God is vital for our lives and for the life of the church.

Ultimately, preaching is a reflection of our theology of God. If one believes that God is all-sufficient, and that all things exist in relationship to him and for his glory, then preaching will center itself on God. If one has a lesser view of God, then that preacher will speak on lesser things.Two beliefs form the basis for God-centered living and preaching:

  • the belief that God is the only true God, and
  • the belief that “we understand ourselves, our experience, and even the world itself from the perspective of our acknowledgment of the God who chooses to be known by his creatures” (Stanley Grenz).

If we really believe these things, we will work towards living – and preaching – in a God-centered way.

Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada