This is not a great title, but I did not have a better one. I want to point you to the sermon preached at our church yesterday by Lee Tankersley on Luke 6:17-49. Lee always does a good job with the text, but this Sunday, due to the nature of the text, the pastoral struggle was particularly evident. I am not sure if it shows up in the manuscript as much as it does in the audio, but Lee stressed his concern on the one hand not to interpret the text so as to open his people to being taken advantage of and on the other hand not wanting to insulate us from the piercing of the text. This is the heart of a pastor and not merely a preacher. This is evidence of one who realizes his task is not merely to craft an interesting oration but to teach people how to live, indeed to mold lives according to the Word of God. The struggle under the weight of this task is apparent in the sermon.
While people’s styles are different, this is the manner in which preaching must be approached. We are to preach to the people right there in front of us, really expecting that they will take seriously what we say and act on it. And we are responsible then for how we teach them to live. I encourage you to take some time to listen to this example of one brother doing just this.