I used to tell a lot of stories about my own experiences in my sermons but I don’t do it any more. People were remembering my stories instead of the biblical stories. What we want to do in our preaching is to point beyond ourselves to the presence of the living God.

I’m not trying to suggest that this is easy. Our entire training—for a good many of us, anyway—has tended to turn us away from this way of preaching. We have been deeply influenced, whether we know it or not, by the imperatives we have heard to make the sermon meet people where they are. But if we do that, then we make little room for the cloud-rending Word to speak.

Fleming Rutledge