The one lesson Gilbert Meilaender learned as a student of practical theology

He [Stephen Hoyer, one-time professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis] said the only thing I remember from any class in practical theology, and I have remembered it often. In a discussion about the tendency of pastors to become dissatisfied with their parishioners’ level of commitment and, then, to begin to preach against their own hearers, he said: “Just remember these people are coming back week after week to hear you – and much of the time you aren’t very good.”

From “Forde, Jenson, and Preaching,” Dialog 30.1 (1991), 59. (I’ll admit it, even though I’ve only preached a handful of times myself, this one still stings — which is probably why it rings true, and is worth bearing in mind when preparing a sermon.)

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