Preaching is not a Cooking Show

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  • I love to eat. But I am not into cooking. I do not cook. And I do not like waiting on those who cook.

    When it is time for dinner, I want to eat. I don’t care how Crystal made it. I just hope it is good.

    When we go to a restaurant, I am not concerned about the chef’s process and procedures. My only thought about what is going on in the kitchen Why are they taking so long to bring out the food?

    I don’t want to talk about cooking when I am hungry. I want to eat. I don’t care what kind of cookware is used. I just want to eat. I don’t want to see the different ingredients that are used. I just want to eat.

    So I don’t want cooking shows. I am not that interested in the process. I just want the finished product. Just bring me a plate. With food on it. Good food.

    I don’t watch cooking shows on television. And I don’t want to see a cooking show in the pulpit.

    Neither does your congregation

    When God’s people gather on Sunday mornings, they want a good meal. They want the bread of heaven. They do not want you to give them the ingredients. They get frustrated when they show up and the meal is not ready. Or worse, when something was thrown into the microwave in the last-minute. (Believe me, they know!) And they definitely don’t want to hear about what it took for you to get the meal to the pulpit. They just want to eat.

    So, for God’s sake, prepare a good, nourishing meal for your congregation. If appropriate, give them a little desert, too. But don’t stand behind the sacred-desk with pots and pans. Don’t read the recipe to them. Don’t show off the ingredients you use, including your secret sauce.

    Don’t preach exegetical outlines word studies, grammar nuances, historical details, or unnecessary cross-references. Preach the message of God from the text.

    Preaching is not a cooking show. It’s a family meal. Stop trying to impress the judges with your creative dishes. Just feed the children good food until they want no more.

    How important are the technical details in preaching to you? 


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.