The last thing you might need is a “practical” sermon next Sunday. Over the last ten years I’ve continued to see a movement calling for pastors and teachers to focus on only preaching “practical” sermons. There’s been criticism that pastors are “answering questions no one is asking.”
Pastors must do their due diligence to bring a scripture’s application to our lives to life, but practicality isn’t our highest goal.
Why? There’s nothing practical about what Jesus calls us to. To deny yourself and pick up your cross and follow him is the most impractical thing you can do. I mean we have lives to live, a culture to enjoy, things to do!
There are some passages of scripture that aren’t intended to be “turn-key ready”; that take a lifetime to discover how they’re applied to our lives. Some scriptures call us to merely look and contemplate the majesty of God. Some scriptures speak to our need to pull away from our “3 Easy Steps to a Better ______” (you fill in the blank) mentality.
Of course Pastors and teachers need to be giving biblical answers to the most pressing questions of our day, but they should also be answering questions that we aren’t asking. If I only taught my kids what they thought to ask me about, I’d be a poor excuse for a father. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. When we ask pastors to only focus on our perceived needs, we miss out on all that God has for us.
So the next time your pastor preaches a message that doesn’t “feel” very applicable to your Monday morning, consider that it still might have a helpful place for your soul.