Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A brief word on the death of Rev. Fred Craddock

On March 6th the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as well as the whole Church (universal) lost a great gift in the passing of Rev. Dr. Fred Craddock.  His inductive (or conversational) style of preaching was not accepted by all (perhaps because of his non-confrontational demeanor or his refusal to tailor himself into a made-for-TBN personality) but few could argue about his ability to retain the attention of a congregation and weave messages that taught you something without you even realizing it.  Fred was one of the most gifted preachers I've ever heard.  And though I haven't completely adopted his style I have learned a great deal from him through the years. The few times I did get to hear him in person I was greatly blessed.  Perhaps, more than anything, Fred taught me about the relationship of the Holy Spirit to preaching and the disassociation of expectations to sermons.  I once heard him say that sometimes the sermon you thought delivered terribly was the one that moved someone the most and sometimes the sermon you were most jazzed about giving and thought was going to move heaven and earth came out of your mouth and fell to the floor "like a wingless dove."