I just finished reading Donald Miller's book Searching God Knows What. Through out the book Donald explains that we were created to live in relationship with God and allow him to define who we are. However Christianity has often made our relationship with God to really be a formula. Instead of living within relationship we do three steps to make God happy or to be happy ourselves. The problem with the formula is that it removes us from living with God to having a god that we control.
Now as I thought about this - us using a formula to relate to God - I realized that this is how I was taught to preach. My teachers drilled into my head that I needed to have three steps or points in every sermon. As a result this is often the way that I preach. I give them three steps to experience joy instead of inviting them to relate to Jesus. And the reality is that relationships are messy and cannot be contained in three little points.
Of course this creates a problem for me. I am not sure how to preach outside of the formula.