Felt Needs Preaching ...

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by All about Grace, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    In light of much of the chagrin regarding felt needs preaching, here are just a couple of points to ponder regarding this subject matter:

    1. Many modern fundy/evangelical preachers disdain felt needs preaching as being too subjective or audience-driven and indeed preaching exclusively for felt needs falls short of the overall purpose of preaching. However preaching for felt needs must be a part of the goal in preaching. Felt needs are a reality no matter how much we may or may not deny them. It is important for preachers to address felt needs from a biblical perspective. In my opinion, a preacher who fails to do so has failed to help apply God's Word in the lives of his people.

    At the same time, preaching cannot be driven by felt needs alone. As we all agree, people also have hidden needs of which they are unaware. It is also the goal of preaching to make people aware of their hidden needs (through the work of the Holy Spirit and relevant preaching). At some point as the Holy Spirit awakens the hearer to those hidden needs (often through the message of the preacher), the hidden needs become felt needs and the hearer responds.

    Felt needs preaching is a must. But it must not be isolated from the reality of hidden needs preaching as well.

    2. Those who often harp the loudest against felt needs preaching often base the rest of their ministries on felt needs. I have been to multitudes of mega-church / semi-mega churches that have every program under the sun available to meet the needs of their people. Everything from divorce care to health club equipment to aerobics classes to men's ministries to gymnasiums to cooking classes. Indeed a person can often spend 7 days a week in a local church subculture if he/she so desires. All of these ministries are designed to meet particular needs. So often those who attack felt needs preaching from the pulpit (or at a denominational meeting) are those whose entire ministry philosophy is actually based on felt needs. And that my friend is what we call irony.

    Just some casual thoughts from an innocent observer who seeks to strike the balance between felt needs preaching, teaching, and ministry.

    Keep it simple and keep it relevant.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Preaching "perceived needs" is not a good PATTERN. I believe exposition is best.

    But that said, I agree that WITHIN the exposition you should most certainly preach to the "perceived needs" of the people. This is just application of the Word and always should carefully apply the text to the lives of our people.
     
  3. Link

    Link
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    I believe there is an apostolic pattern of teaching about genuine needs that a church has. I do not know exactly what the poster meant by 'felt needs preaching.' If he means talking about preaching on topics that relate to people's emotional problems and financial situations to make them feel better, he may have a point.

    But a teacher should talk about the actual spiritual needs of the congregation as needs arise. The Corinthians were doing the Lord's Supper wrong, so Paul taught on that. The Corinthians were not disfellowshipping a man who needed to be disfellowshipped, so Paul taught on that. In Corinth, some were apparently denying the resurrection, so Paul taught on that. In Ephesus, bishops needed to be appointed, so Paul wrote Timothy about that. etc.

    I believe teaching through the scriptures is also a very beneficial practice.

    One thing we need to keep in mind, though, i that the Bible does not teach us to have church meetings in which one preacher speaks and everyone else is silent. The different members of the body are supposed to use their gifts to edify the whole body. The teachers in the body should be allowed to teach the church, just as the Bible indicates. It is clear from scripture that more than one person could speak in a church meeting. Some teachers may teach through scripture in an orderly manner, and others may address needs, and some may use a variety of 'methods.'
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Amen, Link. We have tried to practice "Open Church", not allowing anyone to be a pew potato.

    http://www.openchurch.com/ are advocating a return to Acts. And I agree.
     
  5. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Even the speaking in tounges Dr Bob? [​IMG]
     
  6. semstudent

    semstudent
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    A couple of things here...

    1. What is "expository" preaching? Does this style of preaching have to be book by book or can this be done by addressing certain passages of scripture that the Holy Sprit leads you to expound for the edification of the church you serve. I believe there should be a time when the pastor must adress felt/hidden needs in his sheep. Jesus did, Paul did etc..

    2. I find that those that preach in this manner administrate the church in this manner also. Instead of allowing the Holy Sprit to guide them in growing a healthy church, they tend to come in with their own way of doing things, they do not meet the needs of the church, and the church declines.

    3. God has allowed us, well most of us, 3 teaching/preaching opportunities a week. I preach as a prophet to the people.I preach messages that are relevant and "expositional" as the Holy Spirit leads me,revealing God's Word and will to the lives of the church so that God's people and Kingdom will grow. I do this on Sunday mornings, the biggest crowd. On Sunday nights I exposit books of the Bible verse by verse. Wednesday nights, I teach certain doctines, topics, etc.. in a systematic way.

    Although this takes a lot of studying and work, I have found it quite effective in my ministry.
     
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I have always like what John Stott does. He preaches once every three months on a controversial topic and the rest of the time on exposition. If you have ever done that you will find it will take much more study than any typical expositional sermon.
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    Biblical or the modern nonsense?

    Someone comes in like Acts and I'll listen. I've had a lot of contact with many friends and colleagues who were pentecostal; none came near the biblical definitions of Acts and I Cor.

    But I know you were just pulling my chain! [​IMG]
     

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