When you go to church, is your pastor's proclamations inflaming your love for God? Or, for yourself? Does your pastor use the Word of God as a basis for his proclamations? Or, does your pastor use the Word of God as a contriving tool whereby he manipulates it to his agenda? When you walk away from church, do you love God more? Are you moved to go and spread His fame? Or, are you sent away into more introspection and how you might modify a behavior or "self-improve".
The end of preaching is - at it's root - to paint beautiful pictures of Christ. It is to paint Jesus for all that He is and was. It should exist as a means to conjure up the heart and the mind of Christ followers to go deeper in love with Him.
- Preaching is not about helping the Body to love itself more. It already does (love itself).
- Preaching is not about prescriptions and of dictating to people what they ought to be doing (most already know).
- Preaching is not about moralisms or of self-improvement episodes (the Body can consume that elsewhere).
Good preaching takes care of these things while it rightly places the emphasis on Jesus and of His work on the cross. When we are in love with Christ and His ministry - as a by-product - we will love neighbor as we already love ourself. We will reach out to the unreached. We will want to be our best and do everything to the glory of God. It will be a natural causation of our being overfilled and overflowing with love for Christ and namely, by His love for us.