…look in the water

Had quite a discussion going earlier this week about fish in the pulpit, and the importance of translating carefully in our role as preachers. However, as I mingled with people after this morning’s service it struck me that the work of translation and interpretation is far from over when the last word of the sermon is spoken. As I mingled amongst people laughing, crying, hugging, spilling coffee and sharing tales of last week or fears of next it came home to me that these people are interpreting the Bible in the particular vernacular of their own lives.  The success or failure of the sermon will be determined not by what they remember on Sunday but what they do on Monday.

This begs a question for preachers, though. Surely we are responsible not only for interpreting scripture, but for demonstrating to others how it can be done?  If the church requires an equipped and authentic task force Monday to Saturday, then we must not only provide spiritual food, but lessons on how to hunt for it. Maybe this is where the importance of Bible training for Christians comes in again.

Is our preaching transparent in a way that helps people to see how the truth was mined out of scripture, or do we play these things close to our chest?