Why the sermon?

I’ll be honest I like listening to a good sermon every now and then. I could list a few of my favorites for you; at some point maybe I’ll even provide links to mp3’s of sermon’s that really moved me. There is also a good bit of Biblical support for sermons. Jesus seemed to like to sermonize it up every so often; my personal favorite is the “Sermon on the Mount.” Paul had quite a few lengthy sermons, and the first thing Peter does once he has the Holy Spirit is give a sermon. The word “Preach” shows up in the NIV 123 times (according to Biblegateway). Paul even goes off about the Rights of an Apostle in I Corinthians 9 (which is probably where we get our justification for having a paid pastor). The idea of a weekly meeting for a sermon probably comes from one of my favorite passages Acts 2:42-47.

So by now your probably thinking my goal was to answer the question presented in the title: Why the Sermon? Your maybe even a little bit convinced, or you’ve at least added some Bible verses to support it. So if that’s all you wanted, stop now and read no further.

I still wonder “Why the sermon?” If we are going to follow the Acts passage we should be meeting together daily, and also going to each others homes and eating together; we should be selling our possessions and sharing everything in common. And maybe our pastors should even be doing miraculous signs.
If we are going to hear out Paul’s words to the Corinthians then maybe we should also be advocating for more circuit preachers. Maybe we should stop the calls for money and just be giving it.
And when I look at most of the preaching done in the early church it seems very much the focus was on the necessity of getting the story of Jesus right. It seems the goal wasn’t to have something nifty to say each Sunday, but rather it was to preach the story to those who don’t know it, and to clarify Jesus to those who might have heard a incorrect message concerning him.

Maybe, once we’ve got a pretty good handle on the story and we’ve got a decent idea of what this Christian life is requiring of us (if your still real confused, read Jesus’ words he gives at least one sermon that is quite straight forward), then we should quit the sermons and just starting doing what we are supposed to be doing. What does that look like? I’m not quite sure yet.

5 thoughts on “Why the sermon?”

  1. I think the hardest thing I’m dealing with right now is that I don’t think “church” is for unbelievers. I’m a pastor at 2 separate churces, so this concept has become hard to explain. I think what we do on Sunday mornings or Saturday nights is for believers to come together and worship God, and is not necessarily a time for evangalism. I preach sermons on the bases that it will help lead in the worship of God, and help believers in their pursuit of the 2 greatest commandments: love God and love your neighbor.

    I can’t know exactly what God wants from each congregation, but I just know that I think this is what He has revealed to me. Instead of trying to have a “seeker” service each week, I think we should be “seeker” driven everyday. I don’t mean that in the sense that we should be trying to get people to church. First we should be taking them to lunch, out to play golf, or whatever, and then as God leads them to desire to worship Him, then we should be bringing them to church.

    Forgive the rambling and what I’m sure are atleast 5 misspelled words.

  2. I can agree with that, that the idea of “church” is more a place for the believers to focus on worshiping God. At the same time, I think our “seeker” services, and other compartamentalizing needs some critiquing.
    Out of curiousity, how do you explain I Corinthians 14:22-25? Gives me a new twist on what “seeker” services might be.

  3. I think I Cor. 14:22-25 still supports that we should consider worship service primarily for believers. I agree that unbelievers will come to church and I hope they do, but I think Paul is saying if we are testifying to what God has done in our lives and what we believe God is going to do in our lives, then unbelievers will be convicted just the same as if we gear are service up completely around a salvation message. I think there are times when believers need to hear a salvation message just to remind us where we were before Christ, but I also think unbelievers can be convicted and hear God speak what there heart need to hear with a service and message that is focused on believers. I have always said that if God is present and people’s hearts are open, I could preach from the back of a cereal box, and they would still hear from God.

    I hope any of that made sense.

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