And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. (NLT)
Some preaching has us on the edge of our seats, other preaching has us wishing we didn’t have to occupy those seats. Some preaching stirs us to fruitful action, other preaching sends us to sleep. Some preachers use texts like this to squash their personalities and mistake dullness for spiritual authenticity.
The apostle Paul didn’t have boredom in mind when we reminded the Corinthians about his own preaching. His readers were captivated by eloquent oratory and Paul didn’t seem to measure up. He tells them that he relied on the Holy Spirit to get the message across, not his gift of the gab.
Paul doubtlessly used his powerful personality in his preaching. He certainly knew how to string words together. He was no bumbling, boredom inducing drone, but he wasn’t going to play the Corinthians game and get involved in a public speaker admiration contest.
God gave us our personalities, and preachers are not to ignore them. God wants those who teach to be able to communicate clearly. God expects those who preach to have some passion about what they are preaching. But in the end, it is the Spirit who packs the punch. In the end, we are not changed simply by the words of a preacher, but by the power of the Spirit.