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 preacher's 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 in which 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 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.