About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

Preaching: Getting People to take the Message Home

Bible and pen
Preaching should be as whetting the appetite for the Word of God. Getting your people in the Word is really the key to Christian growth. The culture is full of distractions, and our culture is adept at using the distractions that surround us to keep us from desiring and ingesting God's Word. Its not just hearing us preach it is taking what we preach home.
I believe one of our aims in preaching is to motivate our hearers to desire the “pure spiritual milk” that is God’s Word. In that sense then, preaching is the confluence of three important dimensions.
  • First, our preaching must lift up Scripture as God’s authoritative declaration to us.
  • Second, our preaching must flow out of a passionate, insightful, and personal experience we as preachers have had in our study of the Word.
  • Third, our preaching must deliver practical application, model good scriptural reading and interpretation, as well as motivate our hearers to personally engage and apply God’s Word in their lives.
Here are a few suggestions to us as preachers for whetting the appetites of our hearers.
  1. Shine a light on your study insights. Though it goes without saying, we must make time weekly for intense study and application of Scripture. Not only does this build the foundation for the content of our preaching, but we should also offer commentary when appropriate in our preaching as to how we came across biblical insights and application. We might also want to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, and blogging) as a means to shed light on our study habits for the benefit of our congregation.
  2. Preach in series that encourages your congregation to read and study along with your series. We should preach in series regularly that help our congregation understand Scripture and books of the Bible as a whole. We should suggest with our series ways to read, study, meditate, and memorize in the passages we are going to preach. It might also be helpful to recommend books and commentaries along with each series and make them available as resources to our hearers.
  3. Show and share how the practical application of Scripture is developing you as a preacher of God’s Word. Finally, if we want to whet our hearers’ appetites for God’s Word, we must assure them that the interpretation and application of Scripture can be accessed and accomplished by the Christian who is not a professional preacher. We can do this by regularly illustrating how Scripture is molding and shaping us. We can also be intentional about offering clear insights in our sermons as to how our hearers could read, study, meditate on, and apply Scripture.
The bottom line is that our congregation’s desire for and growth in the Word of God will seldom if ever exceed the example of its pastor. And if we want hearers who desire the spiritual milk of God’s Word, it is our job to deliver the Word in such a way as to make its intake desirable and effective. So let’s try in our preaching to make them hungry for God’s Word.
cf. Chris Hefner