|BURN THOSE OUTLINES
BURN THOSE OUTLINES!Charles Hodge
My constant advice to preachers, “Put fire into your sermons or put your sermons into the fire.” Recently I was jogged by a statement of a pioneer preacher (C.R. Nichols), “Prepare...preach...then destroy the outline.” Overkill? Unwise? The speaker was not advocating destroying resources – he was after outlines, lessons. You preach truth (content) not outlines. Grow...improve – don’t become lazy with outlines. When I can get up my nerve I look at some of my outlines – then I wish someone had burned them! A lazy preacher had a desk drawer filled with outlines. Come Sunday he would reach into, fetch one. His secretary, in disgust, would go in and stir them up!
Preachers (I could understand if members) honestly say, “Hodge, you have it made...50+ years of preaching (outlines). You can sit back, rest, and coast!” HORRORS! I am studying harder now than every! I am privileged to preach where I was born. They have 50 on Sunday! When they heart Hodge they hear new stuff! In fact, I call them my “guinea pigs.” Brethren have a right to hear the voice of God – not forgotten outlines. Preachers must study that members can hear!
The point? Preachers do not work up sermons; sermons work up preachers. I preach only to one man...HODGE! The message must be fleshed out in the messenger. You get the preacher right to have preaching. Preaching is extremely personal. It is not merely what you do– it is who you are. The audacity in preaching? “I have a message from God.” No...the preacher is not God! No...the preacher is not inspired (infallible). This is God’s wisdom to use preaching. God only communicates through flawed, fallen preachers! The human element destroys the infallible. But flawed sinners can hear God’s voice through flawed preachers. This is BOTH the humility and glory of God. PREACHERS – keep growing – and your sermons will grow with you.
Charles Hodge – 711 Villa Creek, Duncanville, TX 75137
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