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We all have blind spots in the pulpit. We all have a tendency to migrate to a few themes.  I critically listened to a preacher the other day.  This is one whom I had heard on many occasions.  It was interesting how his sermons address only a few themes.  And his celebrations to his sermons are essentially all exactly the same.  The preacher either preached about God helping us to overcome obstacles, or the limits that our enemies will face when confronted by God on our behalf, or God’s comforting us in our pain.

These are very important themes, but they are by no means the only themes.  What about God’s forgiveness for our sins?  What about God’s power to help us live right? What about our responsibility to live for God and others?  What about end time events or simply justification by faith?  Simply put, the preaching diet given to this congregation was lacking in many important vitamins and minerals needed to grow into the full stature of Christ.  (Ephesians 4:13)

And so, yes, the preacher was missing some important themes that needed addressing in his sermons.  These were blind spots. What can the preacher do to ensure that he or she is addressing the needs of the congregation and not just their wants or the preachers desires?

Well, first the preacher can construct a sermonic plan where he or she attempts to ascertain the needs of the congregation and address those needs.  It can be an eye-opening experience for the preacher to study a congregation to see what is needed.  This can help both the preacher and the congregation to grow as the preacher finds the real needs and not just what he or she thought the needs were.

Next, the preacher can attempt to address a wide variety of scripture types.  If the preacher is used to preaching narratives, why not try a letter?  If the preacher is used to preaching the New Testament, why not throw in an Old Testament portion of scripture?  Throw in a wide variety of scripture types to force you to address things you may not normally address.

Start a devotional reading program when you read the whole Bible.  Many preachers say they need to do this, but few do. Read the Bible, all of it!  As you read more and more of the Bible you will become acquainted with parts of the scripture that you normally don’t address.

Certainly there are other things you can do to help to get rid of your blind spots, but these three things can help to open your eyes to other possibilities that will expand your repertoire and help your people at the same time

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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David Buffaloe

commented on May 3, 2012

Great article, and I agree wholeheartedly. I have seen far too many local Churches filled with people who do not even possess the slightest practical knowledge of Scripture.

Fernando Villegas

commented on May 3, 2012

Another way to address blind spots in the pulpit is not to limit the pulpit to only one or two hired professionals. The more people in a local congregation who are taught to study and preach God's word, the less likely that congregation will be limited to one or two people's hobby horses.

David Parks

commented on May 3, 2012

Outstanding!

Jerry Shirley

commented on May 3, 2012

Preach expository, the whole counsel of God...and let the Word do the work. Amen!

Zachary Bartels

commented on May 3, 2012

Good article, although I would suggest that rather than a "sure, that's all good, but..." approach to the Osteenish description of the unnamed preacher, it seems to me that the "God will help you overcome your obstacles" spin most preachers put on most texts today simply ISN'T there. Someone has just convinced us that we all need to be Dr. Phil.

Jerry Shirley

commented on May 3, 2012

Preach expository, the whole counsel of God...and let the Word do the work. Amen!

Alexander Shaw

commented on May 4, 2012

Yes - Yes - Over the years, Preach through the Whole Word. Feed your people. Teach your people. Provide daily reading notes that will feed and teach. Encourage your people to be in the Scriptures every day. Seven days without the Word makes one weak! And -"sermonettes make 'Christianettes'"! Wrestle with any parts you have skipped or overlooked because they appear difficult.

Robert Sickler

commented on May 4, 2012

Good points ... far to many preachers are preaching their agenda and not God's ... far to many preachers are trying to make clones and not disciples for Christ

Robert Walderman

commented on May 4, 2012

Good article and helpful reminder. A helpful tool in preaching the whole counsel is the pattern of the more liturgical churches. Addressing Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost themes touches the major events in Christ's life. From Mother's Day through Father's Day I address Family. Parables and Proverbs work well during the summer. Add a least one book of the Bible (I did Micah this year) and fill in with doctrine. All this helps avoiding those blind spots.

Stanley Florence

commented on May 7, 2012

The problem is that preacher preach what people want to hear to keep them there,and dont preach what they need to because they scared they will leave!

David Buffaloe

commented on May 7, 2012

The problem: Stanley Florence is clueless

Aaron Fenley

commented on Apr 9, 2016

Man you just dont know what this article did for me. I am a Pastor, but also work a public job and often lack the time to adequately propare for Sunday morning and Wednesday night. And I have began to notice those blind spot that you spoke of. I am committing myself today to seize every opportunity I can to read more of the Bible to illuminate as many blind spots as I can. Thanks for the help that you have provided in this article. Sincerely you brother in Christ.

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