I was at a good church, the minister was a great man of God. He was godly, humble a good leader and extremely likeable. He had taken this almost dead church to be a thriving church. Almost everyone loved his preaching. That is almost everyone except me. I had gotten into podcasting great preachers about a year before I started not appreicating this man’s great preaching. I was subscribing to about 40 podcats (yeah you read that right). I was listening to all the big names like Piper, Driscoll, Mahaney, Macarthur, Chandler, etc. When I came to church my pastors preaching wasn’t as dynamic and riveting as the guys I was podcasting. Sure he was faithful but I wanted more. No, I needed more.
What was the issue here? It was me. I was judging the sermon on how much it entertained me. I was listening to Podcasts for entertainment not for spiritual change. The things that I remembered from the podcasts and commented on was the funny/touching/gripping illustration and not how the word through the preacher had changed me. I was hooked to podcasts as entertainment and preaching was primarily a performance. A performance where if the preacher didn’t grip me it was his fault.
Every week God was speaking at my local church through the preacher and I prepared my heart to be entertained and when I wasn’t entertained I grew cold to the preaching. What a sad state I was in!
I was not being fed spiritually because I had the wrong expectations, I was not being fed spiritually because I was judging the preaching rather than sitting under it.
And it all came from listening to podcasts in the wrong way.
I think people being bored with the preaching at our local church is a huge issue today. One that is born out of an entertainment, me first culture combined with a listening to preaching for entertainment.
Should you listen to podcasts of the greats? Sure if you want to.
But why are you listening to them?
And what are you doing after you listen to the podcast?
Are you listening to the podcast because it is fun or because you want to encounter God in his word?
Are you coming away from the podcast and repenting of sin and being inspired to tell the world about Jesus or are you laughing at the joke the guy cracked on the podcast.
If you listen to podcasts for entertainment you will start judging all preaching by whether it is entertaining and you will take this attitude into your local church and you will become like I was, selfish and self centered, thinking the preaching was all about me.
By all means listen to great preaching through podcasts but don’t listen to be entertained listen to be changed.