Posts Tagged With: Albert Einstein

Preachers, Put the Groceries on the Bottom Shelf

Einstein Simply Enough


Einstein preaches to preachers with this quote!

Preachers must, as the old expression goes, put the groceries on the bottom shelf.  This does not mean that preachers study less, but actually study more!  In going from knowledge to understanding to wisdom to communicating effectively, the hard work of putting the time in to study is the best way to help your congregation. 

Many young and inexperienced preacher believe that their duty to preach every single scrap of the product of their study and bring that to bear upon their unsuspecting congregation.  Geoffrey Thomas warns us against ‘brain-oriented preaching’:

One of the great perils that face preachers . . .is the constant danger of lapsing into a purely cerebral form of proclamation, which falls exclusively upon the intellect. Men become obsessed with doctrine and end up as brain-oriented preachers. There is consequently a fearful impoverishment in their hearers emotionally, devotionally, and practically. Such pastors are men of books and not men of people; they know the doctrines, but they know nothing of the emotional side of religion. They set little store upon experience or upon constant fellowship and interaction with almighty God. It is one thing to explain the truth of Christianity to men and women; it is another thing to feel the overwhelming power of the sheer loveliness and enthrallment of Jesus Christ and communicate that dynamically to the whole person who listens so that there is a change of such dimensions that he loves Him with all his heart and soul and mind and strength ("Powerful Preaching," chapter 14 in The Preacher and Preaching, edited by Samuel T. Logan, Presbyterian and Reformed, 1986, p. 369. )

This is a constant battle preachers of the Word and pastors of our churches face!  I write this not because I have this battle won, but because it is a reminder that this is a battle I face!  Put the groceries on the bottom shelf so your people in your church, regardless of their advancement in their spiritual walk, may reach and partake!

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