Wesleyan Accent is pleased to share an excerpt from the recently published volume, “The Sound of Revival,” compiled by Rev. Kelcy G.L. Steele. Consider these words from Bishop W. Darin Moore:
As much now as ever, there is an urgent need for the clarion call of biblically sound, prophetic preaching. Everything around us is rapidly changing while leaving many confused and discouraged. This reality issues a challenge to return to the basics of preaching the Gospel of Christ in a way that is both countercultural and yet deeply relevant. Simply dusting off old sermons and sermon styles of the great preachers of bygone days won’t work. We need preachers who are able to exegete the Scriptures and the culture, seeking to proclaim the Gospel of liberation and redemption in the language of this generation. That’s prophetic preaching at its best!
The term “prophetic preaching” has different meanings for different audiences, so it’s important to clarify what those of us within The Freedom Church have in mind when we use it. Prophetic preaching is not fortune-telling, prediction of future events or even necessarily issues dealing with eschatology (end things). Rather than fore-telling, prophetic preaching is “forth-telling.” It is speaking forth God’s word to and for our community. This type of preaching is not motivational speaking or self-improvement lectures, it is preaching that calls people to live into God’s vision for justice, peace, and liberation. It names and confronts structures in whatever form they may be made manifest that marginalize, oppress, or devalue God’s creation.
Far too often our pulpits have been plagued with ritualized mediocrity and substance-less emotionalism that serve to entertain but fail to address the systemic and critical issues our people are struggling with.
Dr. Marvin McMickle issues to every preacher the challenge to rise up and boldly accept the mantle of prophetic preaching, declaring with the Prophet Isaiah, “Here am I; send me!” (Isa 6:8) “It is still our task to call people back from the worship of Baal and other idols, but we will need to attach twenty-first century identities to those false gods. It is still our task to demand that society care for ‘the lease of these’ among us, but we will have to attach twenty-first century names and faces and conditions to those persons.” He summarizes his proposal by claiming, “we need an understanding of prophetic preaching that matches the times in which we live: a postmodern, nuclear-terrorist, politically polarized, grossly self-indulgent age, in which all the world’s citizens reside in a global community.”
Bishop W. Darin Moore is a Bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church.