I’ve always been taught not to tell your own story as a preacher.
I think it was Martyn Lloyd Jones who really stressed this, don’t talk about yourself, talk about the text.
And I get that. I really do.
The sermon is not about me. I don’t want to get in the way. I don’t want people to leave looking or thinking about me but about Jesus Christ. And I definitely don’t think I’m all that exciting anyway.
That said, I’m just wondering…
For one thing, I’m wondering whether or not we might be missing out on a wonderful, God-given teaching tool.
Look at the apostle Paul. There is a lot of his life in his letters. Why? I think one reason is because it helps us see the truth lived out. Isn’t that one of the points of having elders in the church? To show the church what it looks like to live for Christ.
Whether or not we talk about ourselves in our sermons, I’m convinced we need to talk about this – we need to not only tell our people what the text says, we need to show them how to interact with Scripture in a real way in real life.
We need to give them real, living breathing examples of how the truth we are preaching plays itself out at work, when they are struggling, when they are doing well.
For another thing, I’m wondering if talking about telling our stories is missing the point anyway. Our story is God’s story – our individual lives are examples of how He is accomplishing His sanctifying, redeeming, saving work. If we talk about our stories as if they were our stories, then we are missing the point. But what if we did at least every once in a while pepper our sermons with illustrations of how God is working out His story in our lives?
I for one, think that’s more than acceptable.
I think it is desperately needed.
2 thoughts on “Talking about me…”
I just noticed that Paul Tripp gives helpful counsel for telling Christ-centered stories. I quote:
“1. Tell your story in a way that breaks down the misconception that you are essentially different from the person you are helping.
2. Always tell a completed story.
3. As you tell your story be honest in describing your own struggles.
4. Be discerning and purposeful as you tell your story.
5. Always tell your story in a way that makes GOd the key actor in the drama.
6. Tell your story with humility, admitting your need for continuing grace.
7. Always make it clear that you are not what people need.
8. The goal of your story should always be worship.”
Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, p.157