One of the books that kept appearing on "the best of…" lists for preachers from 2007 was "Spirit Led Preaching" by Greg Heisler. It received rave reviews. And so, I recently picked it up and am well into it. So far so good…
Heisler gives a kind of outline of what he is going to be discussing for the rest of the book in the first chapter, "What Spirit-Empowered Preaching Looks Like."
While he doesn’t follow the outline point for point throughout the rest of the book he does so in big broad brush-strokes. The specifics that he is using for the book he labels as "Ways the Holy Spirit is at Work in Preaching:
- The Spirit’s inspiration of a biblical text
- The conversion of the preacher to faith in Jesus Christ
- The call of the preacher to preach the Word
- The character of the preacher to live the Word.
- The illumination of the preachers heart and mind in study
- The empowerment of the preacher in proclaiming the Word.
- The testimony to Jesus Christ as Lord and mediator.
- The opening of the hearts of those who hear and receive the Word.
- The application of the Word of God to the listeners’ lives.
- The production of lasting fruit displayed in the lives of Spirit-led believers.
I like this list because it fleshes out what it really means for the Spirit to work through preaching. Too often what is meant by Spirit-led preaching is spontaneous, off-the-cuff preaching that is generally shallow, repetitive and filled with jargon.
Coming from a fellowship of churches that has always been a little suspect of the Spirit (we were cessationists who also often limited the Spirit to speaking only through the written word); and then coming of age during the days of the controversies over the Holy Spirit and "charis-mania" in the 60’s and 70’s, I will admit that a thorough thinking of the role of the Spirit in my preaching has been lacking. I am already gaining from my time in this little book (only 153 pages). I expect to gain much, much more. I’ll let you know…