I have recently been discussing the worship at our local church with a member of the PCC and the new vicar. I was asked what I wanted to happen in worship. My response was that I didn’t really mind what style of worship it was but I wanted to be changed by the experience. I want to arrive at church as one person, be taken on a journey and leave fired up to do something important about it during the coming week. One of the things I said was that, for example, a sermon should inspire me to action. It should lift me up and kick me up the bum. I don’t even need to agree with it for it to affect me, but I need to be spoken to.
As I sat down to my dissertation this evening having not looked at it for a while the first thing I should come across is a quite from David Stancliffe, the Bishop of Salisbury in his book God’s Pattern:
It is the preachers task to make this encounter with Jesus a living one, where the incarnate word is enabled to take root, and the radical change in us that the gospel demands can be helped on the way.