In his new book Preaching as Worship (Baker), Michael Quicke shares several characteristics of what he calls Myopic Preaching and concludes: “Worshipless sermons are the sad and inevitable outcome of myopic preaching. Theologically thin, spiritually disconnected, empty of God, silent about His grace, self-satisfied and self-oriented, such sermons are devoid of worship. This is partly because the preachers themselves lack awe and wonder at their part in God’s call and response. Humble dependence in gratitude before God who has given His Word should take place instead of rushing ahead to offer their own words.
“Karl Barth was asked by a student, ‘What should I preach about on Sunday?’ His reply was, ‘The question should be, “How dare I preach on Sunday?”‘
“Worshipless sermons, while possibly containing plenty of Scripture, have no connection with the context of gathered worshipers or even more tragically with the great sweep of worship as God calls His people into daily living. Scripture may be explained well, but no immersion of believers into Christ’s high call takes place…
“Allowing music to take center stage, preachers collude in presenting little boxes (of individualized truth) week after week with no unified, glorious story to live out. Nothing changes. Individuals walk out as they came in, without any sense of belonging or responsibility to each other, settling for objectives more in line with contemporary culture than gospel calls to repentance, faith and new behavior by walking in the Spirit. Hearers seem inoculated against any dangers of encountering the real God in three persons. Bluntly, there’s just no encounter with God.”