Preaching Myth #3: “They won’t remember what I say anyway.”

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Now it is true: people do forget a large chunk of what we say on a Sunday morning. Nobody from the audience will be able to recall your 30-minute sermon word-for-word. It’s just not humanly possible. However, they will remember something. They will either remember the key points you were trying to make—or they will remember that there was nothing worth remembering at all. Here are some common reasons why people have a hard time recalling even just the main points of a sermon:

(1) They weren’t paying attention. Don’t be fooled. They may look like they’re listening but what’s really occupying their mind is their “crush” sitting three pews down.

(2) They weren’t interested. Some people really don’t see how your sermon affects them. When that happens, their minds stop engaging with whatever you’re saying. Words enter one ear and make a run for the other.

(3) They were confused. If the audience isn’t sure what to remember in the first place, they can’t remember it. It’s just logical.

Now there may be a genuine spiritual problem in your church which prevents people from reaping the benefits of even the best sermons. You will need to address that issue on a spiritual level. However, also consider that there may be a genuine communication problem on your end. Your chosen speaking methods may be hindering the message from becoming as clear, relevant, and memorable as it could be.

Just because our congregation won’t remember everything we say doesn’t mean we can keep dishing out mediocre sermons. I believe we should continue to develop our skills by learning and using some of the best speaking methods out there. This will help us communicate God’s Word in clear, relevant, and memorable ways. We’ll discuss in future articles how to increase the chances of our sermons being remembered and applied.

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Next Myth: Preaching Myth #4: “I need to entertain.” | Series: The Preaching Myths

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15 thoughts on “Preaching Myth #3: “They won’t remember what I say anyway.”

  1. You should test the saints in your pews to see what they are retaining. You claim to be a teacher. Any one in any school will be tested for retention. For some odd reason, when the most important truth in the universe is “taught” there is no home work, no personal analysis papers, no projects, no testing, and no graduation. Do you have the courage to find out the retention of the saints “under” your leadership?

    (4) There is no expectation that they pass on or reproduce to others what they have learned from you. Why remember? They fully expect to hear a hired Bible lecture every week of their life till the day they die. It’s more important to both them and you that they experience this lecture weekly that it is 4 – 6 times more important than getting the gospel to those who have never heard and have no one to tell them. Look at where the money goes.

    • Hi Tim,

      Thanks for taking the time to give a comment with lots of good insights. I do agree that we should find ways to “test” (for lack of a better term) what people are retaining. We should be able to judge people by their fruits. However, I doubt homework, papers, projects, and tests will resonate well with any church (if you know any church that operates that way, I’d be interested to check out what they’re doing). I don’t imagine myself holding an exam for the entire congregation at the end of the year. I’m certain, however, that there IS a way for us to keep each other accountable in remembering the sermon and applying it concretely in our lives. Perhaps a holistic and robust small group system would be a good start.

      You’ve added a good point. There are too few expectations placed on the congregation on what to do about the sermon. Perhaps getting them involved in transferring these lessons to others (i.e. sharing the gospel) will push them to be more engaged. Maybe they’ll even start taking down notes! However, in cases like these, there’s usually a deep spiritual problem involved. Pastors will need to address that issue on a spiritual level. However, that’s beyond the scope of this blog. This blog simply aims to help remedy communication issues that pastors might have.

      Blessings,
      Brian

  2. “, there’s usually a deep spiritual problem involved. Pastors will need to address that issue on a spiritual level. However, that’s beyond the scope of this blog. This blog simply aims to help remedy communication issues that pastors might have.”

    Yes, you are right. There is a very very deep spiritual problem involved. But you would rather not address that. You just want to tweak communication issues in the existing system only from a pastors side of the problem.

    It’s not a myth that the saints are not retaining, much less using truth in strategic ways for building God’s kingdom. You don’t think your sheep will even respond positively to an attempt to know their own retention of the most important truths in the universe. What does that tell you about the existing system of church “teaching”? It’s the same in every brand church across the country of every size. Are you content with that? I would suggest there is no solution in tweaking pastors lecturing techniques. 500 books have been written on that already. Ask these questions:
    1. Did God ever ask for preaching or teaching to be a 30 – 45 minute lecture only by a hired man with zero questions, zero participation from the learners, and zero reproduction?
    2. Does preach the word = lecture the word?

    I’m asking you to think way out side the box of the traditions handed to you and examine them with what the scripture say to see if any of them are true. Can you do that or are you stuck in the box?

    • This is a great discussion point. To be clear, it’s true: “[I’d] rather not address [the deep spiritual problem involved] in a congregation.” But it’s not because I don’t think it’s important. On the contrary, I believe it to be incredibly important. And there are resources and blogs out there to help. I’ve just purposely limited my blog to the technical side of preaching.

      You also suggest a form of teaching which is different from what is found today. I’m not against your suggestion. It’s certainly commendable and it’s thinking “outside the box”. A preaching/teaching scenario with an un-hired person and one that allows questions, audience participation, and reproduction is certainly possible and perhaps something that churches should consider. Maybe it’s even closer to the Biblical model. Again, I’m not against that. However, it is not yet widely accepted/applied in churches. If you’d like to start a movement, that would be great for the Kingdom. But until churches accept that model, we still have to work with what we’ve got (i.e. stage preaching) and I’m not against that current system.

      As for examining what the Scriptures say, here’s a few for you to consider:
      1. A “hired” person – 1 Cor. 9:17 and 1 Tim. 5:17-18 show that preachers/teachers should be paid.
      2. Preaching without audience participation (i.e. a “lecture” as you call it) – Acts 2:14-41 and Acts 3:11-26 provide good examples.

      Once again, I’m not against what you’re suggesting. However, I propose a more holistic approach which includes BOTH preaching (like a “lecture” as you call it) and your suggestion of one with audience participation (maybe in a small group setting).

      Thanks for keeping the discussion going,
      Brian

      • I want to compliment you on your willingness to discuss a deep testing of the traditional notions of what preaching is assumed to be. Most preachers, even ones who are relatives of mine are completely unwilling to discuss this, not even to open their own Bibles (or iPhones).

        I have not suggested my alternative form of teaching and preaching merely for pragmatic reasons or as a potential solution to the deep retention problem and lack of interest in reproduction that takes place everywhere across every brand, size, race and style of church. I have suggested them for obedience reasons which I will build as I go. None of us are here to please the majority church base or appease what they expect. We are here to obey regardless of the cost. We are not stuck with anything but God’s revelation.

        I asked you to answer two questions and you did! Thank you.
        1. I’m not sure why you gave 1 Cor. 9:17. This is in the middle of Paul’s reasonings why those who lead should refuse the right to pay. Vs. 1 – 14 are the open and shut case on the right to pay. Vs. 15 begins his reversal of accepting this right so that it is refused. The rest of the chapter are very specific reasons why this right should be refused so that preaching is free of charge. 1 Tim. 5:17,18 also points to the right to pay, but says nothing about this being limited to paying for a 30 – 45 minute lecture and not Sunday school teaching and other teaching elements that get a back row seating at the teaching table of honor. There are also other elements of what is said here that are far removed from the existing contracting of teaching with pay agreed on in advance, not as a result of honor offered for a life example. It also must be interpreted in light of the rest of the NT with several other passages on refusing the right to pay for specific strategic kingdom building reasons. Acts 20; 2 Thes. 3 and others. I’m in the middle of writing a paper that brings to light what traditional ministry leaves in the dark on the economics of church leadership.

        2. Neither Acts 2 nor Acts 3 bear any resemblance to preaching today in a special building for saints who have heard 500 – 2000+ sermons. The length may be 5 – 10 minutes. The audience were unbelievers. It was all unprepared – straight from the Holy Spirit on the fly. I’m also looking for more than something descriptive but something prescriptive from the Word for what it prescribes specifically for it’s being declared, taught, exhorted, etc, to the people of God and for a very specific result.

        Would you like to take another try at scripture instructions to do what is done today where:
        One man is the focal point presenter
        One way communication is strictly enforce
        You should not even think about trying this unless you have a special call from God or a Bible degree or both
        Believers need one of these every week of their lives till they die

        Most churches today have both lecture time and small group time, but the results are not very holistic. They are usually excited when 25% of the saints are in small groups. This low participation rate demonstrates that the saints and the leaders really don’t know the depth of heart participation God is asking for and don’t know that it is an obedience and identity fulfillment issue. They have little understanding that God desires to build His body through what he tells each member directly, not merely through some study guide or rehashing the pastors exposition that week.

        I would like to suggest, take the greatest 5 preachers in the country today – probably 75% of the saints who hear them every week are forgetting 99% of what they have heard by Monday morning. They cannot pass it on, nor do they have a passion to even try. The expertise level of lecturing the Bible does not improve the retention or reproduction. It will increase the book sales and the fan base. That is not what God is after. God is after the teacher fully training his students to be like him. Luke 6:40. He is after the teacher entrusting what he does to faithful men and making sure they entrust to others also. That is 4 generations of down the line reproduction – and not just content comprehension.

        It seems safe to say 10,000+ preachers lecturing the Bible every week for pay in our country are not accomplishing this goal and do not even have a passion to try. Am I wrong? I’m not trying to be rude or judgmental. I am trying to bring some deeply held traditions and unfortunate results to the light. I am not trying to say God cannot accomplish anything with what is being done. It just falls far short of His design.

      • Tim, these are great thoughts! Let me push back a bit, if you don’t mind.

        1. In regards to the pay issue, what’s clear from Paul’s writings is that paying those who engage in preaching/teaching is acceptable. It’s also clear that refusing to be paid (as Paul did) is also acceptable. What we CANNOT say is that being paid is unacceptable. A lot of things in the Bible are “far removed” from our time but the principles are still the same. It’s good to pay those who work—even in the case of preaching/teaching. How far that extends (i.e. Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, etc.) is another debate altogether.

        (Also, I made a typographical error in the last comment. The First Corinthians reference should be 1 Cor. 9:7-12. I apologize for the confusion.)

        2. Avoid using exaggerations as your basis for argument. It’s easy to counter exaggeration with exaggeration. For instance, you said that neither Acts 2 nor 3 bear any resemblance to preaching today. Of course there’s some resemblance. One person spoke. Today, one person still speaks. There was a crowd. Today, there’s still a crowd. People got saved. Today, people still get saved. Get my point? What if we preached outside (as opposed to a “special building for saints”)? What if my congregation has only heard 1 sermon? How about 2? What if the sermon length was only 10 minutes and “on the fly”? What if the composition of people were all non-believers? Would those finally make “stage preaching” acceptable? Let’s avoid using exaggerations as basis for arguments. Additionally, we have the capacity today to do certain things that Peter and Paul could not. Today, we can gather in bigger buildings. That does not make it wrong. Just because Peter and Paul couldn’t doesn’t mean we can’t.

        3. I will admit that prescriptive verses for “stage preaching” are in short supply. In fact, I can’t think of any at the top of my head. But the same can be said for the approach you propose. You’d be hard pressed to find a prescriptive verse that says we should have a more “interactive approach” to preaching. I speculate that you will also have to result to descriptive passages. So far, you’ve used the argument from “silence”—that the Bible doesn’t speak clearly about “stage preaching”. Perhaps you can show “Scripture instructions” in support of your “interactive approach”.

        4. You state that “preachers lecturing the Bible every week for pay in our country are not accomplishing this goal”. I beg to differ. Again, you’ve exaggerated. I, for example, am a result of listening to weekly sermons (among other things, of course). And now, I am entrusting those teachings to others. I’m sure I’m not the only one. As you can see, Christianity has not yet died—nor do I suspect it will.

        5. Lastly, I submit to you that the Biblical principle is that we MUST teach. “…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” (Matt. 28:20, NIV84). HOW we accomplish that mandate is up to us (whether it’s through stage preaching, Sunday school, small group discussion, Bible study, mentoring, or a healthy mix of all of those).

  3. Brian, I appreciate your willingness to help pastors think about how we are communicating. I personally believe preaching gets a very bad rap, but it’s not because preaching is bad or outdated….it’s usually because there’s just a lot of bad preaching out there. If our calling as pastors is to equip the saints for the work of ministry, we must continue to improve in our preaching the Gospel. It is transformational when it is preached clearly and skillfully, under the power of the Holy Spirit. So, from a former music teacher turned pastor who is hopefully improving as a preacher….THANK YOU!

    • I truly believe that God honors our skillful work. All throughout the Bible, we see people making good use of human skill to accomplish things for the Lord. Of course, there’s so much more to it than just human effort. A reliance on the power of the Spirit is also a major issue that needs to be addressed among pastors. But for now, I’ll help out with the “skill” aspect of preaching. Don’t stop improving. To this day, I find ways to sharpen my preaching skills.

  4. I love push back.
    1. In regards to the pay issue. If you did a through study of the reasons gives why Paul refused pay, and you understood how he expected men to follow his example in everything, you would want to follow his example. Also if you understood what accepting pay does to the work of God in poorer countries, you would not want to accept pay. I was born and raised in the Philippines till I was 17. I can amplify on this if you are interested.

    2. Exaggerations. I should have said “bears little resemblance” rather than none. Even so, there is no instructive value in these texts to demand the very rigid form of lecturing the Bible of 30 – 45 minutes by only a hired man. This single dynamic has direct contradictions to texts that teach very specific teaching and truth expression dynamics, and very specific texts for the use of God’s man power and financial resources. We would see these specific instructions are mostly ignored and pushed to the rear of Christ’s church due the huge focus on pulpit and pew routines.

    3. Thank you for acknowledging the short supply of texts on stage lecturing. “Preaching” is translated from 4 or 5 different words, none of which specify any of the assumed ingredients today. I am not hard pressed to provide texts with specific instructions for participative, interactive truth expression from every member of the body of Christ. My argument from silence is to show that what the scripture does not ask for (silent) we should not make the top time and financial priority for the saints. What God has asked for should be top priority. What God has asked for is severely marginalized. God’s truth is being trumped by what we would prefer to do, or what we rationalize would work better, or what Godly men have handed down to us and we did not examine it to see if is true. I was trained to be a hired preacher myself. I was guilty of all of these and more myself. I knew these texts be was blind to their part in God’s plan.

    4. No exaggeration. Please reconsider. Until saints in your church are “fully trained” to “be like you”, that means do what you do, the goal is not accomplished. John Piper has been teaching the word at Bethlehem for 30 years. Were there any men he had taught there fully trained to be like him? No they had to pick a man with several seminary degrees. There was no confidence in his own teaching to accomplish local leadership reproduction. God wants all his people to be students who can be fully trained to be like their teacher. That of course demands that we define what the Bible says a “teacher” or “preacher” is, not what tradition has told us it means. No believer should need to quit their marketplace job to be a fully trained teacher of God’s Word.

    5. How we accomplish the GC mandate is not up to us. Revelation tells us how it is to be done. We are to observe and teach everything he commanded. Non-reproduction of the teaching ministry to the saints who are being taught is one key violation. There are many more. I’m holding back on this point right now.

    1st scripture that is being largely ignored because of lecture oriented (and all the other elements I’ve mentioned) teaching in the main gathering of believers. You know that verse that says believers are not to forsake assembling together? It specifies what they are to do to qualify as meeting:
    Heb. 10:24,25
    And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
    There came a day when I read this and realized I was leading saints to forsake God’s design for meeting together. They were getting together in the same room but not meeting by God’s instructions. On both sides of the warning to not forsake meeting are God’s specific instructions for communication of truth to increase love and good works. Love and good works are a summary of what it means to live the gospel, to live the life of Jesus. One another spurring or stiring or provoking and encouraging is a very powerful dynamic. It is very demanding on faith to do week after week after week. It demands a church-view of 24-7 church for every believer to prepare. Verses 19 – 24a describe this preparation dynamic. Gathering for one-way communication nullifies all of this. One person prepares and the rest coast in to merely receive. 99% have no skin in the worship hour except funding the salary of the one or more who prepare. Jesus wants a very diligent faith, not a casual convenient faith. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
    I could say much more here but am staying brief. I did not speak to the amazing sacrifice of Jesus that calls for this very specific function in versus 1 – 18 with a “therefore” in verse 19.

    • Hi Tim,

      I’ve read your entire reply but I’ll go straight to the Biblical issue you brought up with Hebrews 10:24-25.

      1. The verses you’ve suggested in Hebrews do not contain the terms “preaching” or “teaching”. You would think that a verse that contains specific instructions on what “qualifies” as a “meeting” would include preaching/teaching (regardless of how you define the terms). You could argue that spurring/encouraging equates to preaching/teaching but that would also put the verses in my favor. “Stage preaching” IS being used to spur/encourage, is it not?

      2. The verses obviously do not encompass everything that happens at a “meeting” because other important elements are missing. Where’s the instruction to have communion? How about the singing of hymns? Are these not also done in a “meeting”? So it’s quite possible that preaching/teaching was not mentioned because the verses were not meant to show us what “qualifies” as a meeting in the first place. You would think that the writer would be more blunt if he was trying to instruct on “God’s design for meeting together”.

      3. I see Hebrews 10:24-25 happening every Sunday at my church. Yes, there’s an element of “stage preaching” (which is a form of spurring and encouraging) but there’s so much more that happens at our “meetings”. We are not just “gathering for one-way communication” (that may be the case at your church but not mine). We do other things that’s more “interactive”. Again, I propose a more holistic approach to teaching that captures both “stage preaching” and your “interactive approach”. Notice that I never say that your approach is wrong. I can see both working together in harmony.

      • 1. We have already agreed that there is no scripture that instructs that a gathering, even the main gathering include lecturing the Bible, otherwise called preaching or teaching where one man’s expression dominate. Why do you think it must be included? God did not include it. No, I would not think that “a verse that contains specific instructions on what “qualifies” as a “meeting” would include preaching/teaching”, unless the scripture called for it. You would say your ministry is driven by the Bible but you expect something to be there that the Bible does not instruct. No I would not say one another spuring or encouraging “equates” to preaching. It is so vastly different, the key being that the whole body is involved in prepared personal expression, just like our identity calls for – members of the body of Christ, and every other scripture that calls for the body to build up the body. One man dominating is the exact opposite of this. No, “stage preaching” is not “being used to spur/encourage” as the scripture specifically calls for “one another” dynamic. This dynamic demands so much more from every member – what Jesus is after for increasing “love and good works.” You cannot substitute in whatever you or tradition says and get the same results God wants.

        2. I did not say this verse encompassed everything. More scripture is coming that specifically shows the expression is not driven by a platform of 2 or 3 folks. It certainly does not encompass lecturing for 50 – 75% of the meeting and the same people every week – many saints saying nothing for 50 years to the rest of the saints. This verse clearly tells us what is the focus, the main element, which is the corporate expression of the “new and living way” purchased at the cross and led by our great high priest. I can’t see how the writer could be more blunt. (You should read the warning that follows. It is VERY blunt. It is only the traditions of men that throws this completely out the door in exchange for the opposite dynamic.

        3. So you have some interactive time. In 52 Sundays of a year, what percentage of the saints will have participated in expressing spurring or encouraging to the rest of the saints there? 10%? 30%? 50%? One another expression is far deeper than mere interactivity expression off the cuff. It is prepared somewhat like you do. It is the result of their “drawing near” and “holding fast their confession of faith” all week long that leads to a “considering how they can…”. Is this true of their current interactivity? Does the interactivity occur only in the narthex or foye? Is it 2 minutes of turn and welcome those around you? I’ve seen this kind of behavior, but it does not reflect what this scripture is saying. This one another also includes responses by the believers to the initial expression of the initiating believer. That is part of what “one another” means. It is all very personal and intimate expression that demands a verbal response, and a deeper more specific one than just an amen or praise God.

        So is your dynamic really more holistic when what is not asked for is dominating and what is asked for may not actually be happening? Your current description of the interactivity did not lead me to think it was an every member offering prepared expression to all the other members with substantive responses from other saints. The larger the group of people in one room the fewer will be the number of saints who can even participate once in 30 weeks or more.

        Now here is a scripture that includes the word teaching:
        Colossians 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.
        Now we have a combination of teaching, admonishing and singing, all in one another dynamic. Expression and response. Not merely expression only. The response is as important as the expression. This is the exact opposite of platform driven teaching, admonishing and song leading. Here, everyone is a prepared worship leader. This is an amazing dynamic only Jesus can produce, but after all He is our head. Why not have him shown to be the leader. He is not going to lead through just one or two men. He has never said he would lead that way. Verse 12 says we are all “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved”. If we have “put on then…compassionate hearts, kindness, humility…etc.” we will have teaching and admonishing and singing to offer each other. If we have not put on these things and are unaware of our amazing connection to God we might be content to have an expert do all the expression from a platform. What we are prepared to do when we are together flows from who we are and what we have put on, whom we have drawn near to and whom we have held fast to. It all ties together in mutual participation.
        Is it not probable that retention of truth would be much higher when God’s specific design for gathering is in place? It makes sense when it is so much more participative. It makes so much sense when the saints are preparing all week long to express. It makes so much sense when they are taking in truth to offer a verbal personal response.

      • 1. On the contrary, there should be preaching/teaching when we gather together. The Bible is clear about that. Paul tells Timothy to “devote [himself] to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” (1 Tim. 4:13). So a verse that contains specific instructions on what qualifies as a meeting must include preaching/teaching. The contention we have isn’t about whether there should be preaching/teaching in a gathering. It’s clear that there should be (unless you’re avoiding verses that command us to preach/teach). The contention that we have is how do we DEFINE preaching/teaching. We define it differently. Let’s not confuse the argument.

        2. You’ve returned once again to using exaggerations. Avoid using exaggerations as basis for your claims.

        3. Since the argument is really about the definition of preaching/teaching, I submit to you that there are enough descriptive verses to show that preaching/teaching was done publicly and as a way of heralding a message by a messenger to people. When Paul commanded Timothy to preach/teach, there’s no good reason to think that he didn’t mean it in the way that the descriptive verses show.

        4. “Lecturing” can also be done in the “one another” dynamic. I met a fascinating group of believers that allows anybody in their congregation to “preach” during their service. One might stand up and preach for 5 minutes. Another might come up to preach for 10 minutes. Another might have something simple to say for 3 minutes. Such preaching can surely fall within the “one another” dynamic.

        5. Lastly, I repeat that I am all for your idea. You don’t have to prove to me that there are benefits to an “interactive approach”. What you need to prove is that we SHOULDN’T be engaged in “stage preaching”. I submit once again that we can have both “stage preaching” and the “interactive approach”. You have not yet convinced me to get rid of preaching as we do it today. If you adamantly say that we shouldn’t be engaged in “stage preaching”, you would have to overlook all the descriptive verses that show that “preaching” is done in that way.

  5. 1. Where did I say no preaching or teaching? The Bible certainly calls for that. Read what I said again. I said no lecturing, no one man, not dominating the whole personal expression of truth.
    Yes, we define it differently. Yours, the majority opinion is based on tradition, not the Bible which specifies many dynamics that are marginalized or completely eliminated for most saints due primarily to lecture dominance.
    Where am I confusing the argument? Give me a specific.

    2. Where have I exaggerated. Give me a specific quote.

    3. No the argument is more than the definition of preaching and teaching. It also included doing what the scriptures specifically instruct and how we should function consistent with our identity. Homosexuals are those who reject the function consistent with their physical identity. Believers do the same thing when they gather for zero personal expression from their heart to the others and receiving a response.
    When you say “publicly” you mean a crowd facing a pulpit. The kind of preaching and teaching I am showing from scripture is also public. Every gathering is public. One is performance by a couple experts and the other is prepared participation by all. One is driven by the assumption that God funnels his truth through one expert and the other obedience to God’s instructions for his body of which he is the head and he distributes what he wants through all the body parts.

    4. Your point here is exactly what I am saying. This was a seed planted by God in your life. I am watering that seed. However it is so very different from traditions definitions of preaching and teaching so much so that no expert would suggest such a thing. No preaching books include this. It would never even be called lecturing.

    5. It is not a burden on me to prove that lecturing for 30-45 minutes should never be done. There are times when it might be good. I am merely pointing out that what the Bible specifically describes for us to do and tells us how this demonstrates our identity as members of one another, we should major on that and minor on that which is not revealed at all. The current focus is eisegeted out of the text. Even your multiple descriptive texts must have additional assumptions added to them to come even close to matching up with a gathering of believers on a weekly basis. It is a large stretch – missing links like monkey to human stretch.
    Examples:
    ““devote [himself] to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” Any believer can participate in this. Only a hired expert can lecture the word for 30 – 45 minutes. This is a stretch of the text to justify 30 – 45 minute lectures every week.

    “…there’s no good reason to think that he didn’t mean it in the way that the descriptive verses show.”
    Paul would never instruct Timothy to do that which switched priorities on what he instructed the saints to do. Timothy would have modeled it for them consistently. Today’s preacher will never model one another focus. He models the exact opposite. He doesn’t even think he is “called” to that. I say he is “called” to that and not dominating the expression of truth at any point.

    Peter preaching at pentecost = the weekly gathering of believers

    I have more scripture to offer but it really sounds like your current life experience and worldview trumps it. I really don’t think you are “all for” my idea and the “benefits” of participation driven gatherings. I think you have an enlarged confidence in lecturing the Word. But in case I am wrong, let me know when you have your first participation driven gathering instead of the weekly lecture. I don’t see the saints liking it unless they are taught verbally and with modeling the Biblical mandate for this function of the body. They also have an enlarged confidence in lecturing the word, even though they don’t even want to know how much they retain and take initiative to pass it on. A ray of hope is that you have persevered in dialogue here.

  6. Tim,

    As much as I’ve enjoyed our discussion, I will respond one last time to your claim that today’s preaching method is “based on tradition, not the Bible”. Unless you can prove that it is truly un-Biblical, I will say my “farewells” and “safe journeys” now and will no longer respond to this thread.

    1. It is Biblically acceptable to pay those who preach/teach (1 Tim. 5:17-18). It is also Biblically acceptable to refuse being paid.
    2. Paul commanded us to preach/teach as found in the Bible (1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:2).
    3. We have enough descriptive passages in the Bible that show that preaching/teaching was done by one person at a time and in public.
    4. It is logical to assume that when Paul commanded us to preach/teach, he meant it in the way that is shown in those descriptive passages in the Bible.

    I will conclude by saying that preaching/teaching (a “lecture” as you refer to it) and encouraging one another can all be done at gatherings. I agree with you that we can certainly bolster the “encourage one another” part. It is sorely lacking in many churches. But there’s no need to eliminate preaching as we do so today. In fact, we’ll become more un-Biblical if we do so.

    May the Lord bless you,
    Brian

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