The words “must,” “ought,” and “should” just make me tired—but seeing love and grace in action makes me want to move. It’s the same way with preaching!

Otherwise Thinking

Preaching the Good News…

Image …as Good News

For a variety of reasons, we often fail to communicate any motivating “good news” in our sermons. From my experience, there are several reasons for this.

Sometimes we cave in to the culture’s pejorative definition of “preach” – thus the need to sound “preachy.” We load sermons with hard or soft imperatives: “we must,” “we should,” or “let us,” and “we are called to….” When this happens, I am reminded of the hospital nurse, using the “nurse’s ‘we’”: “we need to take our medicine now,” “let’s sit up now and eat some lunch.”

At other times, we worry that the congregation is not doing all that it could do to support our exciting vision for church growth or social justice. We feel compelled to nag at our congregations for their failings.

At other times, we lose sight of the redemptive good news…

View original post 458 more words