Preaching by Fire

Fiery Preaching

W. A. Criswell once said, “There is something wrong if a man charged with the greatest news in the world can be listless and frigid and dull.” In other words, as John Wesley put it, “Put fire in your sermon, or put your sermon in the fire.”

If there is anything I try not to be is “frigid and dull” when I proclaim the gospel. For that matter, I hate be “frigid and dull” in business meetings. I would make a horrible librarian, I suppose. My preaching style is one that seeks to wake the sleeping, not put people to sleep.

By the Fire

But even though I like to keep some fire in my sermons, I have never preached with a fire. This Sunday will be a first.

campfire 1Our church is having Vacation Bible School this weekend, and the theme is “Hay Day!” The stage in the main auditorium is set up to sorta look like a cross between a farm and a cowboy campsite – complete with an electric fire. On Sunday morning is when everything will wrap up, so the stage will remain set up for a campfire sermon.

It’s gonna be interesting, that’s for sure. Lord willing, I am going to remain 75% in character as I talk with a fellow cowboy/farmer about the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19). It should be entertaining for both the children and adults. Let’s just pray the sermon, preached by a fake fire, is full of some of that real “fire” John Wesley described.


Filed under Preaching

3 responses to “Preaching by Fire

  1. Dustin

    That sounds awesome and fun!

    I like this, “There is something wrong if a man charged with the greatest news in the world can be listless and frigid and dull.” I will remember this as I begin my journey of going back to school to get a degree in pastoral ministry.

  2. Chris Jordan

    I’m not sure if it was Wesley or Spurgeon who said this about the reason their preaching was so successful (I’ve heard it credited to both)… “I just set myself on fire and people come from miles around to watch me burn.” Hope you set yourself on fire (proverbially/spiritually speaking only), and blessed the congregation…

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