Is Preaching Overrated?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by gb93433, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I’ve been wrestling with this question for quite some time.

    My background: I started “preaching” when I was in grade school. I competed in speech as a kid for Leadership Training for Christ. I spoke on Sunday nights occasionally for my dad, who was a preaching minister in the churches I grew up in for 20+ years. Old ladies told me I should grow up to be a preacher. I went to college and got training to be a preacher. During graduate school I was privileged to apprentice in preaching with two extremely gifted preachers.

    In short, I was groomed to preach.

    Yet I’ve dealt with increasing dissonance about preaching in the three years I’ve been involved in church planting (preaching, at least, as it has been framed up and defined in my lifetime) for at least four reasons:

    1) Many of the disconnected adults I’m living among are increasingly skeptical of listening to a single individual who presumes to speak authoritatively to them—which I lump in the category of institutional suspicion that is so prevalent among emhttp://www.baptistboard.com/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=18erging generations/culture. They are much more keen on communal dialogue and discernment.

    2) If I’m honest, preaching in my experience does not equip people to follow Jesus at the deepest levels—in other words, it is not transformative in the way life-on-life discipleship and coaching are. Preaching functions on the level of information/cognition, no matter how funny, emotive or storied the sermon is. Discipleship, however, requires not just information but also imitation—a severe limitation of monological preaching. What bothers me is that in many churches it seems that preaching is relied on as the primary mechanism of disciple-making—yet it is inherently limited.


    The rest of the story is at http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastor...n=scnewsletter&utm_content=SC+Update+20120330
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    Sometimes. I worry about the dependence on hearing a good word and then forgetting all about it, or isolating your spiritual experience to that slice of Sunday.

    I just don't get the pattern of: show up in a nice room, listen/sing along to music for 20 - 30 minutes, listen to some guy get up and talk for 30 - 40 minutes, sing a song, and leave. Seems to me it is completely pejorative.

    We've been working at changing up Sundays for a while now. We believe the service is a great front door but we constantly challenge people to get into another room(s) during the week with our groups. If they don't they'll die spiritually.

    I'm worried about the over-reliance on a speaker and the celebritifcation of Christianity.
     
  3. mont974x4

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    No it is not overrated. It isn't the problem is the author of that article misunderstands preaching and ignores the responsibility of the people.

    1. Not all preachers are actually preaching the Word.
    2. People are not being held accountable for maintaining their own spiritual health.

    No matter how humble the preacher and no matter how well he preaches he cannot give people enough spiritual nourishment in 30 minutes or less to sustain them the whole week through. Further, he cannot preach one sermon that meets every need of every person in the audience every week. Preach and preach well. Keep maintaining small groups and individual discipleship programs and pushing people to attend. Keep telling them they must pray on their own and study on their own. It must be a both/and situation not the either/or that the author of the article is suggesting.
     
  4. gb93433

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    The problem with what you suggest about doing things on your own in not what the first Christian community or the Jews did. They were a community of believers. While they may have done some things individually it was still a community focused on helping and encouraging one another. They did not study by themselves. It was done with friends and very small groups (2 or 3). That culture was not individualistic. The problem we have in America is when people come to heresies on their own and think they have discovered something nobody else has. The monks came much later.
     
  5. mont974x4

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    Since Adam people have had to have an individual relationship with God. We do not deny the importance of fellowship and corporate worship. We are emphasizing the necessity of the personal without the denial of the corporate. That is biblical. That is not what the author of that article was pushing.
     
  6. gb93433

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    You seemed to be suggesting an individualistic approach. The problem with that approach is there is no interaction and that is also how some come to believe something that contradicts scripture and they say, "God told me." The context behind Mt. 18:20 is how the rabbi's disciples studied when they studied under him. They studied in groups of two or three. While one expounded the other one or two listened and asked questions. Each of them took turns to do this.
     
  7. mandym

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    2Ti 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
    2Ti 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
    2Ti 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
    2Ti 4:4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
     
  8. righteousdude2

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    Preaching is often...

    ...Over-rated! I think your heart felt thoughts are right on target!
     
  9. RG2

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    Is preaching overrated? No.

    However, I can see where this guy is coming from. Being in the city of Dallas the home of many mega-churches and ever expanding multi-site churches as it seems. I think there can seem to be an overemphasis and promotion of celebrity so to speak of the preacher.

    I think the problem with lack of community isn't the weekly large group gathering we call a "Worship Service." I think the problem becomes that most people's idea of what Church is just to attend that meeting and check it off the "To-Do" list. I've seen plenty of large churches with great community and lots of small ones with no community to speak of. I think we just need a redefining of the paradigm.

    This combined with what Mont said that "Not all preachers are actually preaching the Word." Is what we end up seeing in the church today.
     
  10. gb93433

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    Is genuine discipleship underrated? Yes. If one does a study on what was required of disciples under a rabbi during Jesus' time on earth, the church looks like it is eating bon bons at a carnival.
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I havent heard you preach....got any samples? Ever heard or read Whitefields "Method of Grace Sermon" ....now thats preaching. Im not sure that his talent for Preaching is something that a person can learn or if its God given....however I abhor pastors getting up there & not connecting. Personally I believe the HS provides that to whom he chooses to connect with.
     
  12. RG2

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    Was this the question? I agree that genuine discipleship is underrated by some, but it seems to be the lack of genuine discipleship in the church is a whole other situation than asking if preaching is overrated. The two aren't mutually exclusive and I think if you sacrifice one for the other that's a problem.

    Now I'm not saying I have the answers, if I did I'd write a book and make a bunch of money on it. As I said in my last post, I think the problem is that there are many people that focus on just the big main worship gathering and forgo everything else.
     
  13. gb93433

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    In Mt. 28:19, 20 teaching is mentioned. Preaching as we know it is a modern day invention but not as the Jews and early Christians knew it. In the days when Christians were persecuted such as under communism you did not find preaching much as we know it but you did find discipleship. There have been churches springing up all over since in those countries.

    I see that too, but I also see men and women who are learning to make disciples and God is working in and through them. I see some young pastors who get it. I have met with two in the last two years who want to learn to make disciples. I have seen what has happened as they got away from the comparisons and onto genuine discipleship. It is slow but the rewards are great.

    We know what will last. It sure is not the flash in the pan theology.
     
  14. wtyson

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    I Corinthians 1:18 - For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

    I think the Bible answers the question...
     
  15. 12strings

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  16. yessamine

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    our preachers are needed

    I believe that the devils biggest tool is deception. He makes preachers believe that they change the people. He makes them believe that the preachers are in charge of 'others' relationship with Jesus. I say that is too much pressure on one person! That would make anyone burnout. If an individual is cynical and does not want to listen- maybe they need some time.

    Jesus knew who to put effort into. Jesus left people the choice to walk away. Please look at JOhn 6:60-71 The Words of Eternal Life. He challenges his disciples. And he knew that some of them did not believe.

    One cannot force personal growth. Jesus finds his people and grows them. I think a preacher passes on the message that Jesus provides. What mustard seed takes root and becomes a tree? Mark 4:30-34 I do not know.

    In short, I believe the biggest hindering blocks for children to become adult christians are: Addiction, cynicism, and bitterness.

    The bitterness comes from building up people with false hope. For example, you will be healed of everything today. No one will ever harm you under Jesus' protection. I've heard things like this said. Life of course is about trials and tribulations we should prepare them for this in the christian adult walk!

    Okay those were my thoughts, and God bless
     
  17. Scarlett O.

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    No, preaching is not overrated. It's Biblically commanded and vital.

    Yes, some preachers are overrated - in their own minds and/or in the minds of the congregation. And the church sometimes will place all the spiritual growth of the individual in the hands of the preacher and that's not Biblical.

    The Bible says "study to show yourself approved." The Bereans listened intently to Paul and then investigated the scriptures themselves to confirm what he was teaching them. The Bible also said we are to hide God's word in our hearts so that sin won't overtake us. There's a whole lot more that confirms the responsibility of the individual to increase his personal Bible study.

    What bothers me about today's preaching is that many times the man behind the pulpit assumes that we know nothing about the text he is preaching from and he treads lightly on the passage as if he were teaching to those unlearned and doesn't get to the deeper parts.

    With all that being said, preaching is not overrated.

     
  18. seekingthetruth

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    It depends on one's definition of 'preaching".

    If you mean a theatrical, sweaty, spit spraying tirade, then yes it is comepletely overrated. I feel that this sort or fear mongering is based on man's traditions, not the Bible.

    But if you mean expository teaching of the Word, then in that case, it is under rated.

    1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;


    The sermon on the mount was not a tirade, it was a detailed lesson in Christian living, which is what I believe that pastors are called to give.

    John
     
  19. glazer1972

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    Preaching is not overrated.
     

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