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The Five Problems of Moses
I got into a brief discussion yesterday with my son, Ben and my brother, Paul (both preachers) concerning two different types of sermons: inductive and deductive. The difference between the two was summarized as:
1) Deductive tells people what to do;
2) Inductive invites people to journey with the preacher on an exploration.
Formerly deductive preaching was the predominate type of sermon where the preacher would begin with a conclusion and then present arguments to support it. Now it seems that inductive preaching has become much more popular. I asked Ben which type of sermons he thinks that I preach and he said it is a mixture. I think he’s right.
When I was a young preacher I heard Jim Woodroof say that one should only preach what God has first taught you. I’d like to think that my sermons come out of my life and not simply out of my head. My goal is to have each sermon say, “Hey everybody, let me tell you what God’s been teaching me.” Then the big question would be “What does this say to you?”
One of the best post-sermon comments I received today came from someone who benefited from a single line in the sermon. I made some statement about how Moses’ life was going really well in Midian until God “messed it up” by calling him to go back to Egypt. She reflected on her life and how she had finally reached a point where things were going well. It was at that point that God “messed her life up” as well! He called her to a new mission which has had it’s share of new stresses and struggles. Through the sermon she was able to see a larger picture of what God was doing and, consequently, move forward in faith. Christianity is a journey and a destination. This is why we are called “followers” of Christ. Let’s keep moving!