The Church of information

We are a people who are obsessed with education, information, and gurus who can teach us.  In Christianity, we think we just need more information, more knowledge.  And we need an expert or an authority on the matter to give it to us.

It occurs to me that this is why the sermon, preaching, and preacher, are so important in our church culture.  Even our efforts to make the sermon more interactive and less … “preachy”… (using powerpoints, question time, breaking up into small groups for brief discussion, etc) fail to strike at the heart of the matter.

“How can our preaching reach more people, be more impactful, more memorable, more relevant” preachers ask themselves.  But never the question of whether preaching to the church is beneficial in the first place.

Were elders ever to deliver monologues to the church, expounding on their well-studied and exegeted texts?  Were they ever to select a portion of Scripture for the rest of the congregation to meditate on and apply?  Does Jesus direct his body only through the appointed leadership, showing them what food the congregation is to be fed?  Or are we each to yield to the Spirit’s leading, as Christ dwells in us and in our midst, speaking to each of us, giving space for one another, and doing so in an orderly yet reciprocal way?

Do I believe that God can and does use preachers and preaching?  Absolutely!  But how on earth did this became a centrepiece and staple of our gathering together, taking preeminence, over the “every member functioning” that the Scriptures talk about?

Some food for thought today.  God’s blessings to you!

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