Why We Preach
We preach because God has given us a gift of infinite worth: a book whose words are the very words of God (2Ti 3:16-17). God's Word will make us wise for salvation (2Ti 3:15), give us faith (Rom 10:17), change our hearts (Psa 19:7), and guide our paths (Psa 119:105)
We learn these words through personal study and meditation (Psa 1:2), through talking about them with others (Col 3:16), and through listening to elders who preach and teach God's Word (1Ti 4:13; 5:17; 2Ti 4:1-2).
How We Preach
Here’s what we aim at in our preaching:
To preach from the Bible. We do all we can to preach from the Bible itself. We try to focus on one passage, and avoid picking and choosing random verses taken out of context. Our goal is to focus on a powerful chunk of Scripture each Sunday; to learn it and be changed by it. Some call this expository preaching – preaching which seeks to “exposit” a passage of Scripture.
To preach honestly and humbly. We try to preach with humble hearts, being honest about our own sins and failures. We are not interested in putting up fronts, pretending, or playing games. After all, God is watching, and eternity is at stake.
To preach relevantly. Nothing is more relevant than the message of God’s Word, because it tells us how to be forgiven, changed, and reconciled with the God who created us. But too often the way we preach the Bible makes it sound irrelevant. So at Mercy Hill we work hard to show how relevant the Bible is to real life -- whether it’s handling the 280 commute, understanding same-sex desires, or dealing with our doubts.
To preach without clichés or pat answers. We aren’t interested in preaching that sounds good. We want preaching that changes lives. Life-changing preaching has to give real answers to real problems that we face in real life.
To preach in a way that welcomes questions. Sometimes we open up for questions from the church community -- especially when covering controversial subjects. We do this, not because we have all the answers, but because we know God’s Word does, and we all grow through questions and hard thinking and earnest study.
To preach in a way that connects with our culture. We try to show how the message of the Bible connects with questions being asked by Oprah or Linkin Park or the Dalai Lama. This is what Paul did when he quoted contemporary poets (Acts 17:28). To do this we sometimes play popular songs or movie clips which raise a question, and show what God’s Word says.