Obsession With Preaching

Obsession With Preaching

Cris PreachingJust yesterday, I had a lively debate with another pastor about preaching. He was excited about my vision to plant a church that empowers lay people to minister but balked when I told him that I have lay people preaching as much as I do on any given Sunday. His argument was that the pulpit is the primary place where a pastor asserts his vision and authority and to give that up is to forfeit leadership.

Although I acknowledge preaching can be a powerful and effective way to teach the masses, it did not seem to be Jesus’ primary way of teaching. In fact, there could be a good case made that Jesus was trying to find only the most interested by intentionally speaking obscurely with parables. Only those that came and asked for an explanation were given “the secret of the Kingdom of God.” (Mark 4:11) Many of these became disciples.

I have found that there is no short-cut to the hard work of life-on-life discipleship. Preaching can enhance this discipleship but can never replace it. Vision, authority and leadership are gained best within the context of a relationship. And thus far, I have found that listening rather than speaking is a far better skill to learn when building relationships.

Rather than have an obsession with preaching, we at Outpour want to have an obsession with listening. First and foremost, we want to listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling us. The Spirit is obviously the author of this church therefore we must spend the time in prayer to listen and obey. Secondly, because the Holy Spirit has told us to bridge many different social divides (race, age, gender and economic) we must become excellent at listening to one another to be a truly reconciled community. That is why in this month alone, we will have an Indian-American, Cuban-American, Chinese-American and Korean-American speaking from the pulpit in order to teach us how to listen to their perspectives on God’s truths. How sad it would be if people heard only my take on God! Praise Him for bringing such great people that I don’t have to shoulder the burden of leadership myself!

Answers to Prayer

+ We have new people coming every week.
+ Joshua, Cris, and Jean did an excellent job preaching.
+ I no longer have a deficit in my InterVarsity account! Thanks to those that gave!


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