Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Much Better Alternative to Sermonizing

Sermons dominate the American church landscape. Regardless of denomination, tradition, or style, the vast majority of churches employ professional pastors to deliver monologue lectures to silent audiences at least one time per week.

Is this as good as it gets? The answer is a resounding NO.

God has provided us with an alternative to modern-day preaching that is both much more edifying and more enjoyable.

First, let me provide an important definition. Preaching, as defined in scripture, is actually open air evangelism designed to call the lost to Christ. It is not what occurs when the church gathers. If you read through the book of Acts, you will find preaching always occurring within the context of the spread of the gospel.

Modern preaching has morphed into the ineffective thing we see today. God's alternative to this is teaching that takes place within the confines of Christian community. As the church gathers, whenever and wherever, teaching is one of the things that takes place. Teaching is a gift that some believers possess more than others, but we are all able to teach to one extent or another.

Colossians 3:16 is an extremely important verse. Paul writes to the entire Colossian church, saying in 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Everyone in the body is to be teaching everyone else. This happens within the body of Christ as it lives life together. Some teaching is more in word while other is more in action. There is always a back-and-forth nature to it. Discussion is an important key.

Body life is exactly that. All parts of the body are necessary (see I Cor. 12). We all need each other to teach each other. The body benefits from this, encourages it, and even corrects it (if anything incorrect is taught). No one person is elevated more than any other.

Teaching is important to the life and health of the body. However, we need to take care that teaching is not thought of as better or more important than other gifts. A balanced perspective is key.

Teaching is to be a part of the multitude of one anothers that permeate body life. As we come together as brothers and sisters in Christ, teaching in all its wonderful forms is one of the things that happens. When we follow this scriptural pattern, the body grows and thrives. Following God's plans is always best for the church.


Aussie John said...


Isaiah 55:8-9!

No matter how much we persuade ourselves otherwise, the outward expression of our thoughts will always be tainted by our natural tendencies,whilst ever we are in this life. Far too many Christians, especially when entrusted with leadership become proud,instead of realizing they are taking on a task for which no human being, no matter how touched with God's grace, is equipped.

The resulting disgraceful standoff between a leader/leaders whose demand is "My way, or, the highway!" is often hidden by nefarious means.

The tendency to error, evil,and evil of all kinds remain. As Paul said, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want,it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me".

Eric said...


Yes, the temptation is too great for any one man. All fail because, as you mentioned, God never intended for anyone to do what so many try to do today. How much better it is when we simply live church life as God intended!