why should I care?

I’m increasingly convinced that preachers and Bible teachers need to do more than just explain what a passage means and what its implications are. They mustn’t do less than that. But they also need to help people answer the question:

Why should I care?

Often we’re relieved of the pressure to foreground this question because we operate in a ministry context in which the majority of people are already serious about the Bible. (Maybe among high school or university students who are more or less used to pursuing truth for its own sake. Or perhaps among those who’ve developed the perfectly admirable assumption that the Bible is intrinsically worth listening to — because that’s where we hear God speak, etc.)

But my hunch is we’re not getting through to more people — or even grabbing their attention — because we don’t work very hard at helping them see why they should care about what the Bible is saying.

So I’d love to hear what sort of things have helped you care about what the Bible is saying (e.g., about a particular issue). Fire away!


  1. Chris,

    Sometimes I spend time showing the effects on society, church, particular person, when they take the Bible seriously. If there is a historical Christian movement or a biography of a life changed by the particular passage I am preaching on this is helpful.

  2. Just realised you wanted a real example! I’ll have a go.

    I preached on Abraham sacrificing Isaac a month ago and I mentioned how Kierkegaard had genuinely struggled with this story and thought it was downright terrifying, while everyone around him thought it was inspirational. Do something crazy for God! What! Even child sacrifice!

    Naturally I went on to give a fuller Biblical picture and outline what was really happening.

    Anyways my point is this: I thought people were fairly engaged during the Kierkegaard segment cause they could see how someone from the past had struggled with it as they may. In other the story was not dismissed but wrestled, so it does matter to understand this Biblical story and its effects on us.

    I should note if some sounds familiar to you all out there, I unashamedly co-opted some concepts for this passage from a prominent American preacher!

    1. Nice! I like how this gives people permission to struggle in response (which chances are they’re already doing) and then helps them process their response in light of a greater understanding of God’s word.

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