“A great blessing!” “So good to go over the basics again!” “Great hanging out with a group of pastors like this!” These were some of the comments about the recent “One Life” Conference. Besides an outstanding venue with an out-of-town feel and great food (thank you Smith family), we had a great time of fellowship and outstanding teaching!
The Seven Sessions of this Year’s Conference
This year’s focus was training of elders, interns and church leaders on how to get to the main thought of a biblical passage. Lance Laughton, laid the ground by asking the question, “Why Plan to Preach?” and answered this with four answers; because people (and preachers) like you and I are natural “idiots” (ignorant) (1 Cor 1:27), because in many churches, the pulpit is not primary because of poor preaching (contrast this with Paul’s method in Col 1:25-26), because, with some passages more than others, getting to the single main thought of a passage is like trying to catch a butterfly in your hands (2 Tim 2:15-19) and lastly, because convincing people with ethos (integrity), logos (logic) and pathos (emotion) by the Spirit is humanly impossible (1 Cor 2:12-13).
Prof Piff Perreira focussed on preparing for “Text Centred Preaching” arranging his four sessions around the questions; “What do I actually see in the text?” “What did the text mean (then) to the original reader?” and “What does the text mean (now) to us?”
We personally experienced how we usually do not see what is actually in front of us but too readily interpret what we think is there. This formed an introduction to handling the subjects of our worldview and “the then-worldview,” and awareness of our presuppositions calling for readers to ask the interrogatives again (who, what, where, when, why and how) all the while, remembering the three genres (narrative, poetry and didactic).
Under the interpretation of Scripture, Piff called for humility, and reverence in handling all of Scripture as that which God has spoken and is thus authoritative rather than subjective. He draw our attention to two limitations with respect to interpretation; reading “centre outwards” in terms of concentric circles of context, and reading “from the beginning to the end” in terms of progressive revelation.
Dr Charles De Kiewit then took the last two sessions dealing with how to apply the text and likened application to tailoring a suit to fit a customer, fitting it not too big, nor too small, but just right, so making the sermon suit the needs and worldview of our hearers.
Practically, he asks, “How is pointed application made?” and answered this with; “Be specific – it is very easy to say things in generalities, be discriminating – we need to be physician’s of the soul giving to each one the medicine needed for their particular ailment, and be persuasive – our hearers need to know not only that the clothes need to be worn, but that they can be worn, and the benefits of wearing them.
Lastly, you will enjoy and be blessed by a portion of Charles’ message on the subject of Contextual Preaching by clicking here.
Or you can view more photos by clicking here.
Thank you for all our partners, preachers and teachers for your encouragement of saints in the gospel!