I used what fit and didn’t worry about the format.
I still do that to a large degree in my preaching today, but that doesn’t mean my preaching style remains static. In the last couple of years, I’ve added one more ingredient that has changed my preaching style yet again.
5. From Knowledge-Based to Progress-Based
Just like styles 1-3 were all structure-based, styles 1-4 are all knowledge-based.
I was doing a good job at helping people move from ignorance to knowledge – even understanding. But if I wanted the church to do more than increase in knowledge, I needed to do more.
If I wanted to help the church move from one season to the next, from inaction to action, or from shallowness to depth, my preaching had to move from knowledge-based to progress-based.
It isn’t enough to help people know something new. They have to be ready, inspired and equipped to do something new. To be someone new.
To grow, not just to know. (I guess I haven’t abandoned rhymes, after all).
Certainly, in order to get somewhere new, we need to provide people with good information. So studying scripture and designing a solid message based on biblical content will always be a priority. But that knowledge must serve a greater purpose. Namely, where does it take us?
As pastors, we’re not called to be content-providers, but disciple-makers. The pastoral prime mandate in Ephesians 4:11-12 is not just to teach God’s people, but to equip them.
Preaching isn’t the only step in “equipping of God’s people for works of service”, but it’s an essential element.
More To Learn
There’s always more to learn.
For the congregation, and for the preacher.
When the preacher stops growing and learning, the people stop growing and learning. Or they go to a church where they can grow and learn.
But if we keep growing, learning and stretching ourselves, then sharing it in fresh new ways with others, there’s no end to where God can take us.
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