Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Preaching Articles



The “sermon” is the epicenter of most Sunday morning church services. In seminaries around the world, pastors are taught how to construct and deliver a weekly monologue. It is often the only tool they are given to help God’s people learn, change and grow.

A few years ago, we came across a learning tool that (in our opinion) does away with the need for sermons. It’s called “Simply the Story,“ and it was designed as a way to help non-literate cultures dig deep into God’s story and discover spiritual truths for themselves. Unlike sermons, everyone is involved. Everyone gets a chance to listen to God's Word, retell the it, explore it and apply it to their own lives and context.

Here are 10 reasons we believe churches should stop using sermons and start using a technique like “Simply the Story”…

1. People aren’t good at listening. Research shows that people’s attention ebbs and flows during a sermon or lecture. At best, they have 10-15 minutes of sustained concentration for passive listening. Most sermons go well beyond this.

2. People learn more when they talk. People remember far more from a conversation they were involved in, than a monologue they listened to. Dialogue “chunks” information into smaller segments and allows people time to process, think and ask questions when needed—helping them concentrate and stay engaged for longer.

3. People remember more. You start by listening to the story, then retelling it in your own words, then exploring it as a group, then applying it to your circumstances. This lays down a very strong memory of the story for years to come—something that rarely happens in a sermon.

4. People are more likely to pass it on. Exploring God’s story in this way empowers people to pass it on to their children, their neighbors and friends. They realize they don’t need a theological degree to understand and communicate God’s story to others.

5. Less preparation time than a sermon. The facilitator needs to take some time to memorize the Scripture passage and to study the context and background—but that is all they need to do. No hours of preparing, writing and rehearsing a well-polished speech. No need for dynamic public speaking skills and years of training.

6. More insights than a sermon. Everyone gets to share their “aha moments” and their perspective—not just one person. People get to discover spiritual truths by themselves, which has a greater impact than being “spoon fed” somebody else’s conclusions.

7. More relevance than a sermon. When a pastor prepares a sermon for a diverse congregation he has to speak generically, not specifically to each person’s needs and context. When we come to God’s story together, we can apply the truths and principles directly to our own circumstances, both as individuals and as a community.

8. More authority than a sermon. A sermon is always about the pastor’s opinion and interpretation—the pastor is positioned as the “authority”. It is better for the combined community to go straight to the source, positioning God’s Word as the authority.

9. Less emphasis on the pastor. The system we use for church elevates the pastor above the rest of God’s people, and unintentionally sets him or her up as a mediator between God and His people. It is more powerful to give everyone the opportunity to access God’s Word directly, rather than just the “professionals”.

10. More room for the Holy Spirit to speak. Something special happens when God’s people gather together to seek His voice, His message, His will for the community. God often lays the same message on the hearts of a number of people, and a central theme becomes apparent throughout the meeting. Time and time again, we’ve seen the Holy Spirit speak through the most unlikely of people—which simply isn’t possible in the structure of a typical church service, where only one person is given a voice.

I’m not saying we have to do away with sermons altogether—but I am saying it might be nice to have more than one tool in the toolbox.

Kathleen Ward co-writes a blog with her best friend and husband, Kevin-Neil Ward. They’ve been married for 18 years and have four children, age 3–15. In her spare time, Kathleen likes to paint portraits, read books and learn to play piano—if only she could find some spare time!

Kevin-Neil Ward facilitates a Christ-centered, active learning community using principles and ideas he picked up through his studies in theology, counselling, life coaching, missions, organic church planting and business administration. Kevin-Neil is enjoying life in his forties and loves bike-riding and watching the Tour de France late into the night every July.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Norman Tate

commented on Aug 21, 2013

The article totally confused me. Are the authors saying that the sermon should be replaced with what THEY do? We all preach to different cultures and customs. God assigns preachers that can reach a specific people. If this is what the authors are suggesting I can give them at least ten reasons why they should stop telling the rest of us what we should do.

Michael Winnett

commented on Aug 21, 2013

I agree with you Norman. Teachers are one of God's gifts to the church. Like the men of Issachar they should understand their times and Minister as God has called them to.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Chris Surber

commented on Aug 21, 2013

On a practical level, I want to agree. This is where we are. On a deeper level, I want pastors teaching their people how to listen. I think we need both styles present; church members are typically so biblically illiterate anyway. What happens after a few generations of this style of church? We are already at a low point of biblical worldview in the churches.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

David Cannon

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Unfortunately, much of this leans heavily upon sociological observations and is devoid of scriptural support and authority. We get the distinct impression that our Lord and his disciples must have missed something in their divinely inspired instructions on communicating God's Word. Stick with what God told us in His Word, Pastors!

Ken Boggs

commented on Aug 21, 2013

That's just silly. If we used this logic then we wouldn't use small groups, Sunday School, media, internet, printed bulletins, or even song books. Non-biblical does not mean ungodly. I don't know if this model works or if it doesn't, but let's at least be intellectually honest in our critiques. Think people, think!

Billy Ford

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Ken, let's see, you think David's comment is silly, intellectually dishonest, and devoid of thinking. Yes it's true that many things not mentioned by Scripture aren't necessarily against Scripture (I'm sure David would agree). But this issue goes deeper than that. There are actual spiritual gifts of teaching, evangelism, and prophecy, all of which have to do with inspired speech that other people listen to. The article implies that it's wrong to have a speaker acting as an authority, yet Scripture clearly advocates the establishment of church leaders who are capable of teaching (elders/overseers 1 Tim. 3:12). I think we need inspired sermons and small group Bible studies, both of which have their own strengths.

Thomas James

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Thank you! I agree with someone above ... This is by far my least favorite article I have ever read on this website. If you follow this logic change the name of the website to "story central.com"! Gentlemen ... Preach the Word .. In season and even out of season as these writers seem to think we are in.

John Payton

commented on Aug 21, 2013

At am 78, and a pastor for 56 years. I joined in on Simply the Story for this year as a trial. So far so good. But we gave out 52 biblical passages for the storys of the week for the entire year. Private study and small group discussions during the week precede the "sermon", but my sermons on the passage are still sermons and not discussions. So far it seems to help people connect.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Don Workman

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Probably my least favorite article on this site so far. Variety in presentation is fine and necessary. And we should always keep in mind the particular literary level of our congregation. But I always feel that God's Word deserves genuine exposition that doesn't bore people.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Dan Ott

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Interesting article that has some good thoughts. Most of what they are talking about here can be accomplished with sermon-based small groups. Larry Osborne's church in San Diego do these really well. He talks about it in his book Sticky Church. But we need a solid foundation from God's Word and convey to the people that His Word is the authority, not the pastor's thoughts about God's Word.

Charles Wallis

commented on Aug 21, 2013

I agree with the intent of the article to get people more engaged in the scriptures. Jesus did that with dialogue, questions, stories, application, etc. But He also preached sermons. God has always called some people to preach the Gospel - they are responsible for handling the Word of God correctly and doing the work and preparation others are not called to do. Still these insights are practical and should be considered as additional ways of engaging with God's Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to use everyone. Maybe the title is misleading, but we probably read this article because of the title!

Rodney Shanner

commented on Aug 21, 2013

"What it means to me" discussions do more harm than good unless the Facilitator has done the proper exegesis and can correct misinterpretations non-offensively.

Charles Wallis

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Good point - I have seen this happen - still the NT does encourage gifts of the Spirit working among the body and sometimes that is pretty risky.

Randall Starkey

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Paul's statement about God choosing "the foolishness of preaching" is not going away. These ideas are useful in certain contexts for sure, and perhaps in the crafting of a sermon, but nothing will ever replace preaching. Preaching is a divine call and gift, and it is needed. I know titles are meant to be catchy, but this article sort of says "10 reasons to quit doing what God told you to do." There is no question that the biggest spiritual watersheds in our church have often come from key sermons as a key element in that spiritual jump. So, let's become better preachers! Use various ideas, but do not forsake the basic biblical command to preach. At least not in your basic core gathering of your church.

Charles Wallis

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Well said.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

James Knowles

commented on Aug 21, 2013

So much for the Sermon on the Mount...

James Walker

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Please, get the word to John Hagee, David Jeremiah, and John MacArthur to rethink people looking to the pastor; the shepherd -- as an authority on speaking God's Word. The reason the author presents no Biblical support for the stated position is because there is none. This has nothing to do with placing the pastor on a pedestal. It has everything to do with "feeding the flock" and "being a watchman on the wall". Believers are getting a hefty dose of falsehoods and immorality from the President of our nation; every cable and alphabet network; talk shows and sitcoms. Every congregation; every believer -- deserves by God's design to know the positions of the pulpit on current issues, morals and norms from a biblical perspective. They deserve to hear doctrine and truth from the one on whom God has laid an awesome responsibility; the pastor. Preaching/speaking with "authority" is what Jesus and His apostles did! A pastor should never apologize that his/her congregation looks to the pulpit for spiritual and practical direction from the Word of God. It isn't a discussion -- it God's Word preached with authority (and yes -- preparing that weekly Sunday morning meal is a lot of work).

Ken Mettler

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Amen. There is too much dumbing down of the church. Without great preaching like that of David Jeremiah there would be little Biblical content in the minds of the people. Just telling stories and letting people say what comes to their mind is not a valid Bible study method. The Bible was not meant to be batted around like a baseball, but, preached. Discussion and witnessing is the implied response to preaching.

Leon Daugherty

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Amen and thank you!

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 21, 2013

James I agree with what you are saying! God gave the pastor the authority to lead the church in the way God biblically directs Him to lead it. Hebrews 13:7 "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." And Hebrews 13:17 "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." He is to feed the flock! The one thing you said I do not agree with is "A pastor should never apologize that his/HER congregation." The Bible does NOT give leadership to women in the home or in the church. 1 Timothy 2:11-14 "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." Eph. 5:22-23 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." Just as God gave the leadership in the church to the pastor, He gave the leadership of the home and church to the male. And I believe David Jeremiah, John Hagee, and John MacArthur would agree!

Ronald Johnson

commented on Aug 21, 2013

I think the first point is good. Perhaps many sermons are too long. With a couple of exceptions, the most powerful preachers I have heard all spoke for less than 15 minutes. It takes a lot more work, and a lot more reflection to write a good and powerful short sermon, but it's worth it if we can effectively communicate God's word to our people. I think the approach of using something like Simply the Story in small groups would be helpful. However, the preacher has the responsibility to exegete the scripture for his people, and make the connections to the world.

Jacob Brimm

commented on Aug 21, 2013

The problem is that preachers are not preaching enough. 15 minutes is not enough. What happened to the days of 1 hour sermons?

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Read the Sermon on the Mount out loud. It takes about 20 minutes. I've timed it. It's not about the length of time. It's about the content. After all, if it was about the length of time, why stop at an hour? Why not preach 2 hours? 4 hours? A whole day?

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Bruce Smalley

commented on Aug 21, 2013

The Bible does say to "Preach the Word".... Perhaps most of the objectives of the authors of this article can be reached by doing what some churches are doing: Following up the weekly message with "sermon-based small groups" where people discuss the biblical passage that was covered the previous week.

Jacob Brimm

commented on Aug 21, 2013

It is cowardice ignorant articles like this that make me sick. You call yourselves pastors, yet you have no understanding of what it means to Shepherd. We are called to preach the word, to exegetically explain the WORD of God so that the people will understand what He is saying. It is not that this garbage method you speak of is better, it is that you are such horrible pastors and so poor at preaching that you cower from it instead of embracing the challenge. One of your point says that it takes less time to prepare than a sermon; well that is pathetic. A sermon takes time, energy, study, passion, prayer, insight, education, and so much more. Of course it takes time, and I love to labor over a sermon preparation to ensure that my congregation gets everything possible. If you are so scared to stand up and preach the truth, QUIT! If you can't catch people's attention with a sermon, take communication classes, or if that is too hard, QUIT! Pastors will be judged the hardest, and I know I am not perfect but I would never tell people stop preaching and start telling stories. Exegetical Preaching reaches more people than any other method, and done correctly it is engaging, educational, and inspiring. Quit crap like this. THe bible tells us to be ready to rebuke false teachers. Consider yourselves rebuked!

commented on Aug 21, 2013

My dear pastor. I don't think this article meant harm. I totally got confused when I read comments. Jesus is the greatest preacher, we all know he drove his main points using story. I think the author suggest a blend of it. Preaching is important, but its more important that your listeners can retain your teaching.

James Walker

commented on Aug 21, 2013

I admire your conciliatory tone, however, the article is not middle of the road nor is it soft on what it advocates. The title says it all and is not just an attention getter. Yes, it is "harmful" whether or not it is meant to be because it absolutely advocates not preaching. The article is filled with potential pitfalls for the gullible and adventurous. It would be different if the author(s) had advocated "a time and a place" for both, but this is not the case. Jacob's "makes me sick" is a bit over the top; but I believe a rebuke is in order and I feel his righteous indignation. Discussion is not preaching and preaching is not discussion. It is not a matter of what best caters to the whims of your audience. The apostle Paul would have stopped preaching if he had been swayed by Eutychus who fell asleep at midnight during his sermon; fell from a window and was thought to be dead! We don't cast aside the Biblical paradigm of preaching because of the whims or frailties of the preacher or the listener. The author(s) in no uncertain terms is advocating that we "stop preaching" and his first four reasons start with ... "People" and not God.

Stephen Vaughn

commented on Aug 21, 2013

I wholeheartedly agree. We are called to spread the Gospel as did Peter in the Book of Acts as well as the Apostle Paul. Just imagine, for a moment, if neither of those bold, Holy Spirit filled men of God "preached" and only facilitated conversation with unbelievers.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Randall Starkey

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Dude - I know you think you are defending the truth, but you have a genuine attitude issue. The article was espousing a different way of communicating God's Word (which I myself totally disagree with if you read my own post) but false teachers are those who teach falsehoods, not those who advocate a less than desirable way of communicating truth. Plus, you generalize in phrases like "you call yourselves pastors". Chill guy. Make your points in a civil way for Heaven's sake.

Jacob Brimm

commented on Aug 21, 2013

The problem is that we as Pastors are constantly told to 'chill' and stand down, back up, hold back, restrain ourselves, and other things. Thats not what we should do. Ignorance is ignorance, and false teachers are false teachers. We are to teach GOD's word, HIS word is enough. There are times and lace for discussion however sunday morning service is not one of them. I am the first to admit that I am very over the top, very loud, very out spoken, very energized in all I do for God, but this is what makes me who I am and who God has called me to be. I feel that I was very civil, very right, and very restrained! I get what you are saying, however articles like this have no place on sermon central or any faithful preaching website.

Randall Starkey

commented on Aug 21, 2013

I have to agree Sermon Central seems to be posting some controversial stuff - but isn't it a great opportunity to help pastors think through why they DON'T want to do that! They will hear it somewhere, so why not have the opportunity here to rationally say what's wrong with it. We will best accomplish that WITHOUT the high and mighty attitudes! I'm loud and over the top also. Just podcast some of my sermons! They aren't discussions lol! But still, in a forum like this, it's not the pulpit. If anything, it's a place to teach and convince especially younger pastors what's best.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Jacob, I agree with you! I have been accused of being a little over over the top at times myself with my comments. But like you, I believe passionately in what we are called to do and I will take every occasion to point out falsehoods on this site or anywhere else for that matter. We are called to "earnestly contend for the faith." Keep on contending brother!

Jacob Brimm

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Thank you for your support. You keep up the fight to brother! God Bless!

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

James Walker

commented on Aug 21, 2013

"Dude"; "chill"? Randall, advocating NOT preaching is advocating a falsehood and I think the apostle Paul would have been more severe toward the idea and would not "chill". :-)

Randall Starkey

commented on Aug 21, 2013

My apologies if the casual language doesn't connect with you. Nevertheless the high and mighty reactions that these sort of things engender are really not helpful. Read my first post. I rejected the basic suggestion of the article also, but calling the person a "false teacher" is too strong for me. Just knee-jerk. You can make the same points without the high and mighty attitudes.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Davide Verlingieri

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Jacob, I'm not trying to be divisive with this comment, nor say anyone is right or wrong. Recently I've been thinking a lot about church; how it's structure serves the body of Christ, or whether the body of Christ is serving the structure of church. I've been thinking about how many of our current liturgical practices are Biblical compared with what is merely traditional. I've been wondering if we are not guilty of pastoriing or shepherding in a manner which suits our comfort, and not what is best for the sheep.. Sometimes I wonder if we are supposed to preach to a flock of grazing sheep, or whether we are to attend to their individual needs on a very personal level. When I think of preachimy in the New Testament, I think about who was being preached to (I.e. Unbelievers or the already believing), where they were preaching (I.e. in a church or out in the streets, markets and public forums), and what they were preaching. My question then becomes, are we preaching to those we should be teaching, encouraging and equipping for the work of ministry, and ignoring those to whom we should be preaching? I haven't yet come up with an answer, as I am still looking into this. However, I don't think we should be so quick to write off the ideas of this article...

Francis Olaes

commented on Aug 22, 2013

..amen!., i believe on you pastor.., i wish to learn a lot of topics and know you more. OPEN REBUKE is better than HIDDEN LOVE.

Francis Olaes

commented on Aug 22, 2013

..amen!., i believe on you pastor.., i wish to learn a lot of topics and know you more. OPEN REBUKE is better than HIDDEN LOVE.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Merrilee Slaton

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Maybe there is room for both, Teaching is wonderful and necessary but there is a place for "preaching" to. It is not necessary to go over 15 min's most of the time, if we study and refine our sermons.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Mike Jacobson

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Let's all sit around and share our ignorance. Not such a good article.

Pastor Bob Alderman

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Romans 10:14-15 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"

Joseph William Rhoads

commented on Aug 21, 2013

What the author does not know, because of a lack of knowledge of both Scripture and history, is that many of the ways that she advocates in communicating were available the likes of the Apostle Paul. The Greeks in Paul's day used theater (story-telling), debate, discussion, etc. to communicate philosophy, religion, politics and so on. Paul rejected the communication ideas of this day and stood by preaching, because God told him it would be the foolishness of preaching the cross would men and women be saved.

Vincent Aja

commented on Aug 21, 2013

In fact I do not know where this article is coming from neither the purpose. In number 8 you said that the sermon is the pastor`s opinion, and in number 10 you wanted to say something about the Holy Spirit. We just generally disagree with you my brother. Try to understand why the Holy Spirit give some people the gifts to be teachers and others to be pastors. Although a pastor may possess both gifts. But no man made idea that can represent sermon.

Jason Barnes

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Who said the pastor is to give a sermon... The church assumed that... Pastor is to lead and guide and protect, is that the purpose of the Sunday sermon? What about the rest of the week?

Thomas James

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Jason read Paul telling Timothy who was pastoring the church at Ephesus to "preach the Word"! That's where pastors are told to "give a sermon". Your post further up indicates you have a real issue with pastors being in spiritual authority over you (see Hebrews).!if that's the case either change churches or let God change your heart!

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

You are right. Timothy, a pastor, is charged with preaching the word. BUT...that does not imply that ONLY the pastor is to preach the word. I can't say for sure if that's the point Jason is making, but that's a point I've made often on this site. Nowhere in the Bible is preaching every limited ONLY to pastors, and no one has ever proven me wrong from the Bible.

James Walker

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Jason, I agree with Thomas. I believe you might have some unresolved feelings/opinions about the role of a pastor and the responsibilities and authority God places on his role.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

To James and Thomas, it seems to me rather presumptuous to make assumptions concerning supposed "unresolved" spiritual issues in the life of someone you don't even know, based on a few posts that person writes on the internet, wouldn't you say? You can disagree with his opinion all you want, but isn't it possible to do so WITHOUT judging his heart, which God alone knows (which, by the way, I'm pretty sure is the type of judging that Jesus is referring to and prohibits in Matthew 7)?

Thomas James

commented on Aug 22, 2013

And what you just did is different from our making assumptions how?

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

@Thomas, "And what you just did is different from our making assumptions how?" In that I make no judgements regarding your hearts. I make no assumptions about any possible spiritual issues you or James are dealing with. God alone knows your hearts, and judgement of another man's heart belongs to God alone. I dare not take his place. I'm sure both you and James are godly, Spirit-filled brothers in Christ, who seek to follow him in all things. Just because your comments appear to me as presumptuous does not mean I think you're bad people, or that you have some sort of unresolved issues with laity not respecting your authority, or anything like that. All I'm saying is, why is it not enough simply to say, "I disagree with you because of x, y, and z? Why do you feel compelled also to add, in effect, "...and, even though I don't know you personally and have no idea of your background or your walk with God, I can see that you have spiritual issues in your life that you need to repent of"?

Thomas James

commented on Aug 22, 2013

That's fine Bill but you read the comments and its clear he has a burr in his saddle regarding pastors ... Not just this post but all of his cumulative posts

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Yes, I did read Jason's comments. And while it may seem clear to YOU that "he has a burr in his saddle regarding pastors," I do not get that impression at all. Nor is it our prerogative to make that judgement. That is why I said your comments are presumptuous. It would be like me saying, "It's clear from the cumulative posts of some of the pastors on here that they have a burr on their saddle regarding lay members." And believe me, speaking from the perspective of a lay person, that IS how some of you come across to me sometimes. But it would be just as presumptuous for ME simply to assume that was the case. I don't know you or James, or any of the others who contribute comments to this site. Making that assumption is out of line. Look, if you have confidence in your position, then stick to the evidence. Making personal character attacks is the pattern of those who know their arguments cannot stand on their own merits. You should be better than that. All of us here should be better than that.

James Walker

commented on Aug 22, 2013

I bet Jason is a "big boy" and can speak/write for himself. What do you think Bill? Think maybe Jason can defend/speak for himself? Betcha!

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

James, this is not about being a "big boy" who can defend himself. And by the way, if you do not see how what you wrote is incredibly condescending, I really feel sorry for you. But this is much bigger than that. This is about how we often seem to forget that the people on the other side of the screen are brothers in sisters in Christ, created in the image of God, who deserve respect and dignity, even if we disagree with them. In fact, ESPECIALLY when we disagree with them. Jesus tells us, "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same." It's easy to defend disrespectful people when they agree with us (remember Jacob Brimm). You don't need the Spirit to do that. But when you strongly disagree with someone, and yet treat them with respect and dignity, refraining from personal character attacks--THAT is a sign that one is living by the Spirit, and not by the flesh! And to paraphrase Paul, "If I have all of the right doctrine, and vigorously contend for the faith, but have not love, I am nothing." So, if you disagree with someone, fine. State your case. Make your argument. And let your argument stand on its own merits. We're all Christians here, and even more, Christian LEADERS. The comments section should reflect that.

Harold Goff

commented on Aug 21, 2013

I would like to talk to some of the congregation. That would tell the tale.

Robert Bravo

commented on Aug 21, 2013

I think they are confused between the benefits of a small group bible study and a sermon. That's all..What they described is a small group study..

Jason Barnes

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Define the difference?

Richard Murray

commented on Aug 21, 2013

Richard Murray, Faith Unity Fellowship Ministries It sends the wrong message whenever someone advocates for preachers to stop preaching no matter the context. God, is the authority, and we should never stop using the tools he gave us to communicate to his people. His people, and no one elses. He chose the foolishness of preaching to confound the wise. Do what you want to in your small groups but on Sunday mornings preach the word unapologetically,and let God draw the people. If I be lifted up from the I will draw all men unto me. This is what God will do. We just have to do the part that he gave us to do. If we cannot do that, if its taking too much time, then we should be asking ourselves if we were chose, or if we called ourselves. 15 minutes is not enough time, to communicate with God's people. And perhaps we're looking at it from the wrong perspective. Look at it from a judgement stand point. And see if God will think that the 15 minutes or less was enough time for you to communicate to his people and what you did with the rest of the time he gave you. A different perspective might change your habits. The bottom line is God knows whats best for his people, and we he gave us an instruction manual, and we are to follow it to the letter.

Kim Lawrence

commented on Aug 22, 2013

I couldn't have said it any better Richard. Preaching is Gods design. Thanks for your insight

Mark Baker

commented on Aug 22, 2013

No matter what the author's intention, this is a subtle "postmodern"/emergent church notion. The EC and its adherrents disdain "preaching." While they say they also disdain the mega-church's "inauthentic" methods, they, too, are VERY pragmatic. If you missed it, pragmatism is the main point of this article, "One thru 10 show that this 'works' better than preaching God's Word ... SOOOO if you want your church to be more effective, then lay aside God's superlative exhortation/command to "preach the word" (2 Tim 4:1-2) and take on what really works with this extra-special generation that doesn't really like preaching (or the Word)."

Lewis Perry

commented on Aug 22, 2013

And this on "Sermon Central"?????

Mark Baker

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Yes, I thought the same thing; and I thought that the blatant problems/conflict would be more apparent to those who "preach." Discernment is dying, if not dead, in the church (not just because of this article and response).

Jason Barnes

commented on Aug 22, 2013

I think this is a great article and something God has placed on heart for a while now. I think those who may oppose to it are mainly pastors who like to talk, lol... Give people the option to talk, be quiet sometimes. Let people ask questions. Stop assuming that you have all the answers because you don't. Someone mentioned sermon and small group, what's the difference? The Word is the Word regardless of whatever setting you call it. People were allowed to ask Jesus questions.. The lawyer asked " Who is my neighbor"? Niccodemus asked how can he go back into his mother's womb? and because of those questions everybody got a answer. We all learn different, hear different, some are visual, others learn by asking questions... Let's stop limiting God to just on Sunday morning sermons, it's ludicrous... He's at work right now all the time. We need to stop looking so much at humans and more at God period...

James Walker

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Jason, your comment "mainly pastors who like to talk" is neither "LOL" or respectful of the well thought out comments that are in this thread. It should be expected that pastors and preachers will have the lion's share of concerns about this article in light of their calling. No one's remarks has "limited God to just on Sunday morning sermons". Good pastors are approachable just as Jesus was to answer questions and your premise that Jesus was available has nothing to to with what occurs within the context of Sunday morning worship and the preached sermon. Your comments are "shotgun" and all over the place. Perhaps you have something more useful to add --- try again.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Jacob Brimm's comments were likewise (if not more) "shotgun," all over the place, and in your own words "over the top" than Jason's. He was certainly more disrespectful of those who disagreed with him than was Jason. And yet, you defended Jacob's comments but dismiss Jason's. "It should be expected that pastors and preachers will have the lion's share of concerns about this article in light of their calling." True, and most of those concerns (some with which I agree) have been shared in respectful and well-thought out ways. Jacob was not one of those. So, why should Jacob get a pass on his harsh comments and Jason get dismissed for his significantly milder one, simply because you happen to agree with Jacob?

James Walker

commented on Aug 22, 2013

Have a blessed day.

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

You too. Still, an answer to my question would've been nice, so you're welcome to "try again" also, if you'd like. Although, I have no problem if you choose not to. Just remember, though, if you push back on someone's comment, don't be surprised (nor take it personally) when others push back on yours. If you defend the harshness and disrespect of one commentator, it might not be a good idea to critique the lesser disrespect shown by another. And if you believe in something and stand by something you've written, don't be afraid to make your case. Have a wonderful day, and I look forward to continued conversations in the future!

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Kathleen Ward

commented on Aug 23, 2013

Thanks, Jason!

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 22, 2013

The final sentence reads, "I?m not saying we have to do away with sermons altogether?but I am saying it might be nice to have more than one tool in the toolbox." Unfortunately, the tone of the majority of the article does seem to undermine that statement, especially since towards the beginning the authors write, "Here are 10 reasons we believe churches should STOP using sermons and start using a technique like 'Simply the Story'" (emphasis mine). There seem to be conflicting messages, and the tone and language of the article unfortunately seem to support the latter over the former. Proclamation (preaching) is important and has a place in the church's worship. And I think this story-telling technique can ALSO serve an important function in the church's worship, for some of the reasons (though not all) stated, as well as for other reasons that were not stated. I think this is a situation where "both-and" would be much more beneficial than limiting ourselves to "either-or" as the article appears to imply. All of this to say that there were some things I disagreed with the article, and some things I agreed with. But the final sentence is where I most agree: We shouldn't get rid of sermons and preaching, but we CAN include other elements into the worship service to get the worshipers more engaged. Remember, the typical worship service envisioned in the NT in passages such as 1 Corinthians 14 were SIGNIFICANTLY more interactive and participatory than the mostly passive worship services one will find in typical Western churches. Anything we can do to make things more participatory, without replacing the role of preaching, can be a good thing.

Kathleen Ward

commented on Aug 23, 2013

Hi Bill, thanks for your comment. I've taken your feedback on board about sending conflicting messages in this article, and made changes to the original on my website. My aim is to advocate participatory, engaging techniques in churches, not to shoot down pastors and their marvellous gifts to the church. Unfortunately, the editors at sermoncentral are choosing to put my blogs up with aggressive pictures and titles, which completely changes the tone, and undermines my message. I was disappointed to be represented in this way. Blessings as you bring some reasonable comments to this forum, Kathleen

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 25, 2013

Kathleen, I'm humbled at the opportunity to be of service. I appreciate your aim of advocating participatory, engaging techniques in churches. This is desperately needed, in light of the incongruence between much of our contemporary worship services and those described in the NT. May God continue to bless your ministry and give you wisdom!

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Guel Sugano

commented on Aug 22, 2013

The author has new insights but we must always go back to the Word: Mark 16:15 - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 1 Cor. 15:1 - Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received...Acts 10:42 - And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God [to be] the Judge of quick and dead. 2 Tim. 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

Richard Murray

commented on Aug 22, 2013

For a couple thousand years, God's program has been working for his people, and it worked good enough to draw the people who have added post to this thread. The way isn't broken so lets not try to fix anything. As I said before, God knows what he is doing. So even though we may use other tools, I think most preachers on this thread, don't like someone advocating that we should stop preaching. So maybe the title and the stop preaching part should have been left out. That would have averted all this opposition. Remember we all want the same thing, the advancement of the kingdom of God.

Scottie Gray

commented on Aug 22, 2013

I have only been a preacher for. 1 1/12 years. I have a lot to learn. I usually preach for about 45 mins, and get a good response from the congrgation. I preach about 30 mins on wednesday nights, and have a discipleship group once a week for an hour with some men who recently graduated from a christian based rehab facility. I talk to prisoners on thursdays at the local jail. I also have 3 jobs and 5 boys that I coach and do homework and Bible study with. I know for a fact that I am doing God's work but I also look to this site for advice from pastors that have been doing this for a while. I am a little dissapointed by all the comments that took an hour to read. I always thought you all had it figured out.

James Walker

commented on Aug 23, 2013

It seems you are a student of God's Word. It is interesting that you are disappointed when reading passionate disagreement among the Lord's pastors today while surely you have read about the same in the book of Acts. Education found in Bible college or seminary will also expose you to healthy debate and passionate disagreements. The hallways of seminary and Bible college experience (if you have not had such) might help you be less disappointed when you are exposed to honest disagreements -- such as those experienced by our Biblical predecessors.

Scottie Gray

commented on Aug 23, 2013

I am currently attending seminary at la college. You bring out a good point, there have been many debates or disagreements in my class. They don't seem to be unhealthy.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Aug 23, 2013

Scottie, James is spot on in his statement! Hang around here and you will see many passionate debates on many different subjects. Some of us may be a little more passionate than others, but that's how God created us. We are all different. Debating subjects will strengthen your reasoning and make you look at your position in different ways. I love being challenged to defend what I believe from the Bible and this site affords just that! Some may say this is a waist of time, I couldn't disagree more (although it certainly could be if you spend too much time here).! For me, this is another type of study, and study I do as I answer those who have a question about what I believe. One thing I do not like though, is when someone challenges your position and then when you take time to answer, they never respond again. That is frustrating!

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 23, 2013

Scottie, be encouraged, my brother. No one has it all figured out. That's why we're here, trying to get better! I find comfort when I read the Bible and see how God does not wait for us to get it all figured in order to use us greatly for his honor and glory. So, continue in the path God has shown you, continue to seek wisdom and advice from others, and continue to trust that God is in control! Blessings to you!

Christian K

commented on Aug 23, 2013

Soo true Bill....

Scottie Gray

commented on Aug 23, 2013

Thank you Bill. I love you, and I appreciate your encouragement.

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered.. It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Christian K

commented on Aug 23, 2013

interesting article....

Luke Robertson

commented on Aug 25, 2013

What is the difference between this and a small group?

Luke Robertson

commented on Aug 25, 2013

What is the difference between this and a small group?

Luke Robertson

commented on Aug 25, 2013

What is the difference between this and a small group?

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

I know of missionaries who only used one verses in the bible and won many for Christ.. I also know preachers who have lots of titles before and after their names their church attendance were dwindling..It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered..lest we forget It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

I know of missionaries who only used one verses in the bible and won many for Christ.. I also know preachers who have lots of titles before and after their names their church attendance were dwindling..It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered..lest we forget It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

I know of missionaries who only used one verses in the bible and won many for Christ.. I also know preachers who have lots of titles before and after their names their church attendance were dwindling..It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered..lest we forget It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Josh De Belen

commented on Aug 27, 2013

I know of missionaries who only used one verses in the bible and won many for Christ.. I also know preachers who have lots of titles before and after their names their church attendance were dwindling..It is not how masterfully our preaching or sermon being delivered..lest we forget It wasn't us who quicken the heart of the listeners.. Just preach the word in season or out of season.. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. -Philippians 1:18

Bill Williams

commented on Aug 27, 2013

Josh, you continue to post the same comment--in essence--all throughout this section. I'm not quite sure exactly what point you are intending to make, and specifically as it relates to the article itself. Would you be willing to elaborate? Blessing to you!

Guel Sugano

commented on Aug 27, 2013

I believe that whatever style of presentation you do, it doesn't matter as long as you touch the heart of the listeners with the Word of God and with the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not us to judge or underestimate the methods because God is the giver of all gifts to magnify Him and to serve others (Rom. 12:3-8). If the Lord has given you the gift of story telling, give credit to Him without belittling other gifts by telling that your method is better than preaching.

Join the discussion