When I am on vacation I do something most pastor’s do not do, I actually go to church. I love going to church on vacation for two reasons; first I get to enjoy the worship and the message without having any responsibility for either and second I try to learn as much as I can from the church I am visiting.
A couple of years ago I pulled into a church that met in a High School. I turned my lights on because I was a first time visitor and they motioned me to the parking lot closest to the front door. I have never been welcomed by so many people in my life and most were teens. It was amazing. At the end of the service they had tents set up in the parking lot to sign up for the events they had mentioned in the service. This church did a great job of making me feel welcomed. I was impressed.
Most churches try their best to roll out the “red carpet” for visitors. We have coffee, greeters, ushers and signs so you know where the washroom is. At our Staff Meeting each Tuesday we review the past Sunday service to see what went well and what we can improve. But Pastor when was the last time you considered how you might improve your preaching?
- loss of confidence in the authority in the Bible
- a much more broken culture (The Barnabas Blog)
Needless to say we have our work cut our for us and as James Emery White points out in “Re-Thinking Church” people are not interested in what we are selling.
“The vast majority of those who are unchurched are not actively seeking a church home. Further, they are divorced from seeing it as a need in their life, even when they are open to spiritual things and interested in spiritual things. They no longer tie their spiritual interest and longing to the need to find a particular faith, much less a particular church.” (James Emery White)
Yet, the Bible clear that hearts are won for Jesus by the preaching of the Word,
“Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21)
Here is what hangs in the balance and why re-inventing our preaching is so important.
“By it sinners are converted, inquirers led on, and saints built up. A preaching ministry is absolutely essential to the health and prosperity of a visible church. The pulpit is the place where the chief victories of the Gospel have always been won, and no Church has ever done much for the advancement of true religion in which the pulpit has been neglected.”
So, we have looked briefly at some of the challenges faced by today’s minister and in my next post I will share with you three simple changes you can make to help re-invent your preaching and stay fresh in the pulpit.