Recently Pastor Andy Stanley was interviewed by Ed Stetzer. They discussed preaching and Pastor Stanley’s views on preaching. I was quite interested. I enjoy listening to or reading good preachers talking about how they preach because, to the delight and possible surprise of my congregation, I am trying to become a better preacher. You can find his interview and comments here. Then, pastor Stanley says something that made me fall out of my chair.
“Guys that preach verse-by-verse through books of the Bible– that is just cheating. It’s cheating because that would be easy, first of all. That isn’t how you grow people. No one in the Scripture modeled that. There’s not one example of that.
All Scripture is equally inspired, but not all Scripture is equally applicable or relevant to every stage of life. My challenge is to read culture and to read an audience and ask: What is the felt need? Or perhaps what is more important, what is an unfelt need they need to feel that I can address? Because if they don’t feel it, then they won’t address it.” Pastor Andy Stanley
I want to take a minute and address this comment, but before I do, let me state that I have respect for pastor Stanely. I think he is an excellent communicator, which is why I was excited to hear him discuss preaching. I hope that you do not take my comments on this one interview as my opinion of pastor Stanley’s ministry because even though I disagree strongly with the above statement, I respect pastor Stanley and his ministry. I do, however, preach verse by verse in my sermon series, and I take offense to these comments.