Jesus. Real Life.

Buying Sermons or Equipping the Saints

I’m no expert on the market, but apparently selling sermons is a growing business. Just google “sermon ideas” or “sample sermons” or the like and you’ll get the idea. Here’s the deal, I have no interest in making a pastor who’s already beat up and tired feel worse because he’s bought a sermon. But to all such folks and others who are tired and feeling the pressure of preparing a sermon week after week for sometimes years on end, I will offer another, more thoroughly Christ-like and exponentially more life-giving alternative: Start building and leading a team of people for the task. Every elder is supposed to be “able to teach.” Every one. Beyond that, it appears that Stephen (a mere deacon!) wasn’t so bad at it. And Paul urges Timothy to teach the truths of the faith to to capable men who can pass them on to others. So do that. Jesus sent out the twelve and the seventy to preach (and heal and cast out demons) after shockingly little training. Paul had to tell the Corinthians to limit the speakers to “two or three” at each meeting. Two or three at each meeting! Not counting guests from outside the congregation, many churches have fewer than that per month, per quarter, sometimes per year.

Equip the saints for ministry. I guarantee that few if any congregations have exhausted the human potential for teaching within their own congregations. Yes, don’t be hasty with the laying on of hands. But we’ve reduced the process of training to something slower than a crawl. Quit buying sermons from people you don’t likely even know and don’t know your church. Start building sermons in the folks right under your nose. Who knows, you might not only get a break, but you might even conclude you’re doing a better job.

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2 responses

  1. Well said T. I’m pretty sure that the folks who sat under Paul’s teaching were thankful for his willingness to equip others for the task… especially since Paul is said to have caused his audience to fall asleep and even fall out of a window! 🙂

    Seriously, I’d love to see this practiced. I think “ego”, fear and tradition are a few major barriers. Pastors are afraid of just letting anybody get up there and say any ‘ol thing- What if they disagree with what’s said? What if it’s heresy or error that leads folks astray? What if they like that guy better?

    and then there’s the question- If anybody can speak then, who’s in charge? Who’s the REAL pastor?

    What a wonderful place the church gathering will become when we allow God to speak thru his body- not one part- but the whole.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

  2. T Freeman

    I think we’ve got a real shot to do this at Bow Down, especially because of the “empowerment” value and the missionary mentality. And not just for teaching, but in all the ways we serve.

    October 21, 2009 at 7:50 pm

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