Mastering the “So What” of Preaching

Preaching should always answer the question- so what?  When we were starting New Season Church we had the opportunity to visit various churches before we began regular Sunday morning worship.  One church we visited was the McLean Bible Church and Pastor Lon Solomon was preaching.  I do not remember a whole lot from the message that evening (sorry Lon!), but I do remember Pastor Lon stopping in the middle of his message after he got done expounding on the scripture to ask the question (actually the congregation asked the question at his prompt as they must have done many times in the past) “So what?”

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So what?  Who cares?  What difference does this make?  These are all questions that strike at the heart of making our preaching applicable to person’s lives.  In my preaching, I have sought to be mindful of that question so that in light of God’s holy word proclaimed there was some nugget of applicability to listeners. Whether I was talking about the 1st century food groups of food Jesus ate, the difference between the Hittites, Jebusites and Termites, what it means to forgive seventy times seventy or anything else, I always tried to answer the question “So what?”

I believe the Bible is always relevant and applicable to people’s lives.  Unfortunately, we preachers, myself included, sometimes make it irrelevant because we forget to ask “So what?”

So, in the end I hope that question “So what?” might haunt you as it haunts me every time I ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in crafting and delivering a message.

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