Posts tagged ‘Penecostal’

April 4, 2012

Pentecostal Preaching

I first became a Christian at age 12, through the Christian group that met in my High School.  It was 1986.  That group was really my first church.  I then got involved at my local Anglican Church –St Paul’s Castle Hill, in Sydney.

Then an interesting turn of events occurred that saw me end up in a Pentecostal Bible College in 1992, my first year out of school.  After I moved to Melbourne in 1997 I have only ever attended Pentecostal churches, and that is certainly where my future lies.

That diverse background has made a profound impression on me.  Pentecostals and Sydney Anglicans believe 98% the same stuff but the differences in personality and practice are massive.  One of the differences is the style of preaching.

Anglican preaching usually consists of a passage being followed through in a systematic way, with precision and discipline. With definitely no shouting.

Pentecostal preaching often takes a passage as a starting point and then wanders into various places that may or may not have much to do with what the passage read at the start is about.  It’s all usually done with great enthusiasm as well. You may think that this is a criticism but I making a point – God could have told us how he wanted his word preached.  He chose not to.  I further note that Jesus, God made flesh, did a lot of preaching and he mostly told stories from his imagination to make the points that he wanted to make.

One of the peculiar parts of Pentecostal preaching is the use of maxims or proverbs.  I don’t mean Proverbs as in the book in the bible; I mean short sayings that make a point.  In literature the proper name for this is an “aphorism” which is “a concise statement containing a subjective truth or observation cleverly and pithily written.”  Here are some examples from a recent sermon that I took notes of on my iphone –

  •  Stay in your season until your season is done with you, not until you are done with it.
  • Sometimes you don’t understand how important the beginning is until you arrive at the finish.
  • God  uses your setback for someone else’s comeback.
  • The measure of our emptiness determines the measure that we can be filled.
  • The  suddenly’s of God come with change.

All of those are from the one sermon.  Some of them don’t make much sense without the context they were used in.  But for me the use of maxims and proverbs is one of the most charming and helpful things about Pentecostal preaching.

One other that I heard recently that I liked was (speaking of adversity), “It’s not the stuff you go through, it’s how you go through the stuff.”

What about you?  Have you heard any goods ones recently?  What do you like / dislike about the way people preach?

John

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