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Preaching Articles

Nearly all the pastors I have ever met are wonderful people. Gifted and intelligent communicators with strong people skills; committed to living out God’s calling through all the ups and downs; dedicating their lives to understanding God’s message and sharing it with the world around them. Noble, exciting men and women with a sense of purpose and vision. I love them and am inspired by them.

And yet, I am increasingly convinced that the sit-sing-sermon model of church has had its day, and needs to give way to something new — something interactive, and engaging, and empowering, where God’s people are invited to contribute and participate. But where does this leave all the pastors, with their many years of training; with their finely honed preaching skills; with their ability and talents for performance?

The truth is, churches are going to need leadership as much as ever if they move from performance to empowerment — but the leadership will be less about performanceand more about facilitation. Many pastors have the right temperament, wisdom and communication skills to make excellent facilitators, but they have to turn their thinking upside down to get there.

Preaching involves talking — facilitation is about listening.

Preaching has all the right answers — facilitators ask the right questions.

Preachers take all the credit — facilitators give all the credit.

Preachers hold on to authority — facilitators hand over authority.

Preachers have a voice — facilitators give others a voice.

Excellent facilitators do less than 30% of the talking and get others to do the 70%. They risk letting others interpret God’s Word and listen to God’s Spirit instead of doing it all themselves. They give others credit for their ideas and insights without boasting of their own. They hand over most of the power, control and status, rather than holding onto it.

Not everyone can be a good facilitator. It takes skill and faith, confidence and humility, maturity and vulnerability. These are traits many pastors and “lay-people” already have. My husband and I are currently developing a course called “Foundations in Facilitation,” to help leaders “empower everyone through dialogue, discovery learning and direct access.” Our prayer is that pastors will stop performing for God’s people and start empoweringthem. Less personal reward, greater kingdom impact.

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.

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Talk about it...

Irene Allen

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is an extremely good article with much to ponder. It seems, believer's are wanting to sense more of the power of God in their lives, not only within the gathered worship experience, but outside the four walls as well. The sixty-four thousand dollar question is how? How in part, I believe, is found in the above article. By eliminating entertainment wherever (in the church and without) it is found in our lives. Concerning our corporate gathering.. I believe performing our gifts, our talents or service to God as if we are up for Emmy awards before men, can be found from the pulpit to the parking lot. Like the Emmy's, there is pressure to perform even greater to receive a temporal reward. That's if we've please men. So... How do we empower the people of God to do the work of the ministry? First, we define what they are, when, where and how we execute God's ministry and to whom. Last but not least- We never forget why we work the works of God in the first place. To glorify God in the earth! The sit-sing sermon model mustn't be done away with, but take on a remodeling. According to God's word, not mine, in Hebrews 10:24-25, we gather for purpose. One being, our need to grow in love and to encourage one another, to not lose faith and continue serving God with good deeds that glorify him in the earth- I thoroughly enjoyed your article!

Chris Linzey

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Good thoughts, but how does this play out practically? What are you really suggesting beyond an abstract idea?

B. Taylor

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Sure! Let's completely ignore the fact that we are called to, "preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2) . . . or that individuals come to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ by hearing the word preached (Romans 10:14). Don't get me wrong, I get that we as pastors are to facilitate the spiritual growth of those in our congregations. But eliminating preaching just because of the short attention spans of our church members is selling out to the world. I've been a teacher for two decades (I'm bivocational); schools have been trying to get us to become 'facilitators' rather than teachers for all of those 20 years. This is just following the ways of the world.

Casey Scott

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Can we agree that something happens in a good sermon (dare I say it, even a great sermon) that will NEVER happen in a good (or even great) discussion? The inverse is also just as true, which is why the most effective model for Christians to have Christ “formed in them” is BOTH. It’s always been both/and. The early church met in the Temple Courts AND from house to house (Acts 2:46, 5:42). Paul spoke effectively in the synagogue (Acts 14:1), and lead discussions in a lecture hall (Acts 19:9). I appreciate the challenge in the article, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Nonsense! God called me to preach, not facilitate! Brian Taylor said it well!

Dan Nold

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I think pastors and other leaders in the church should be good facilitators and good coaches. Christians in general -- not just leaders -- as those who follow "The Word" should be the best listeners in the world. But I also feel that we have a problem when we think that "church" is what happens on Sunday morning so Sunday morning must be _________. (And everyone fills in the gap with something different.) There is a place for teaching and preaching in the Christian faith. There is a place for the whole community to share together in hearing and pondering God's Word. To say that we must change the corporate worship from sit-sing-sermon (which by the way our corporate worship is a bit more interactive than that) seems to say that we cannot even afford to have 60 minutes a week of corporate worship and teaching. Is that really the case?

Darryl Atwaters

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Great idea in the secular place. God has called us to preach the gospel and individuals began to exchange that with personal preference, than the person has strayed away from his or her calling. If we are not careful, we will develop concepts to please people rather than pleasing God. If I wanted to facilitate, I would have stayed in corporate training.

Charles Ingwe

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Since the word of God is the foundation of how church is to be run, it is imperative that we remain within the standards of the word. Christ is the one who is building his church through the established position of scripture. Eph 4: 10-13 gives the biblical way of doing it. So we go to the word and see how the apostles went about it. If we want to do what we feel is the modern way, it has to have a clear scriptural backing. By the spirit of God we are directed how to go about it, for souls to be ministered to vary from one community to the other. You can not have a set model. That is tradition.

J. Gregory Gillum

commented on Jun 13, 2013

The subtitle should have read, "A Bad Proposal." - not "bold." Paul implores Timothy 4:2 to preach the word, after charging him in verse 1 in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, the eternal judge of the living and dead, through his incarnation and the inauguration of his kingdom...fairly serious charge. This idea is simply the response to itchy ears that need scratching. Like Demas in verse 10, this idea is in love with the present world.

Keith B

commented on Jun 13, 2013

After reading that article I have no idea what "facilitating" means in the context of the church. I can tell you though, that the job of a pastor is to shepherd the flock. To suggest we not instruct, inform, rebuke, guide, etc our sheep is wrong.

Casey Scott

commented on Jun 13, 2013

One other thought: there are those who claim that "monologue doesn't work anymore" and therefore, we should abandon it in favor of dialogue. That's totally bogus. If you've ever craved a cheeseburger late at night because of a TV commercial, you're proof that monologue (i.e., one-way communication) absolutely still works when it speaks to your needs in an engaging and relevant way.

David Sheppard

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I believe that we have to preach the Word. However, I think what can change is the way that most churches go about Sunday school and Bible Study, and make those times together as an interactive setting, where you can encourage folks to ask questions, get insight and reason together.

David Sheppard

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I believe that we have to preach the Word. However, I think what can change is the way that most churches go about Sunday school and Bible Study, and make those times together as an interactive setting, where you can encourage folks to ask questions, get insight and reason together.

Reginald Brantley

commented on Jun 13, 2013

If you are developing a program that you will be marketing, don't attack preachers and preaching. Simply offer "facilitation" as another way to engage a congregation that preachers may want to use from time to time. I imagine you styled your title to get a raise out of preachers, and you did! There is a place for what you call facilitation; the Bible calls it teaching. I agree that from time to time, a worship service in a facilitation/teaching style can be a refreshing way to interact with scripture. But it is the case that people want to hear preaching and, as others have said, preachers are called of God to preach.

Michael Durst

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Seems like the group is being pretty harsh on the author. I would agree his word choice could have been better. I would state that Preaching should be facilitating. My impression of his desire is to say that our preaching must lead to something in the life of the hearer. Yes God is in control, but too many of us "preachers" are not creating disciples, rather we are just talking. I'm sure the author would agree that his primarily goal is to make more "preachers" as in proclaimers of Gods word and good news of Jesus. We have relegated preaching to our sunday services, when the NT writers intention and understanding was that it was the duty of every Christian to do so daily.

Kwena Semenya

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I am little skeptical of what is suggested by the writer. Remember Pastors are called to preach not to listen to the congregants preaching to them. Preaching is one of the Pastor's duties beside administering sacraments and performing church discipline together with the elders in the church. I therefore concur with those who are saying facilitation can also be done during bible study groups.

Kwena Semenya

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I am little skeptical of what is suggested by the writer. Remember Pastors are called to preach not to listen to the congregants preaching to them. Preaching is one of the Pastor's duties beside administering sacraments and performing church discipline together with the elders in the church. I therefore concur with those who are saying facilitation can also be done during bible study groups.

Damon Rambo

commented on Jun 13, 2013

LOL. Did you read the first article? That is some of the most un-biblical garbage I have ever put my eyes on. When are people in the church going to learn that God has given in His Word our methods? All of these new fads just make me upset. The Church bowing down to the world, and becoming consumer driven...BLAH>

Lance Hostetter

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This style will only work if those who do the talking know what they are talking about. To many discussions leave the Word and go into the world of feelings, and what others think. Regardless of the style the authority must be the Word of God! Also, people still want appreciate authorative teaching as long as they respect and love the teacher.

Dan Thornton

commented on Jun 13, 2013

In response to some who object - "I am called by God to preach" - are you saying that you are the only one in your congregation that God has called to preach? Where do you see that in Scripture? In Acts, multiple people spoke in the churches, and much of the preaching was out in the community, not in church. Paul's instructions to Corinth were that there should be several preachers, and each one should have the authority to stop the others and (tag-team?) take over. We might not prefer the direction this article suggests, but I doubt we can say it is unbiblical.

Don Logan

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is just awful stuff. The writer assumes that everyone has something good to share. Uh, we don't. And quite honestly neither does the preacher. But I put my money on the person who has at least spent 20 hours or more in the text every week. He has the best shot at saying something eternally useful. Bad, bad thinking here.

Don Logan

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is just awful stuff. The writer assumes that everyone has something good to share. Uh, we don't. And quite honestly neither does the preacher. But I put my money on the person who has at least spent 20 hours or more in the text every week. He has the best shot at saying something eternally useful. Bad, bad thinking here.

Peter Hansen

commented on Jun 13, 2013

You guys have got to be kidding me?!! The apostle Paul told Timothy to "preach the Word..." (II Timothy4:2)....he didn't say "facilitate the Word...." You want to re-invent the biblical wheel? Nothing could bring more damage to the believer than the absence of biblical preaching. This might do well as a follow-up to biblical preaching....but definitely not as something to replace biblical preaching.

Peter Hansen

commented on Jun 13, 2013

You guys have got to be kidding me?!! The apostle Paul told Timothy to "preach the Word..." (II Timothy4:2)....he didn't say "facilitate the Word...." You want to re-invent the biblical wheel? Nothing could bring more damage to the believer than the absence of biblical preaching. This might do well as a follow-up to biblical preaching....but definitely not as something to replace biblical preaching.

Michael Del Tatto

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Where in the Bible does this come from? 2 Timothy tells us to preach the Word and to teach. Facilitating just allows ideas to grow often bad ideas and bad theology. God's people need and are commanded to be taught so they won't be lead astray.

Pastor Benjamen S. Long

commented on Jun 13, 2013

...and the "pimping" of the Gospel continues. How incredibly sad to see "preachers" promote such garbage -- using the "if you sell it, they will come" theology.

Pastor Benjamen S. Long

commented on Jun 13, 2013

...and the "pimping" of the Gospel continues. How incredibly sad to see "preachers" promote such garbage -- using the "if you sell it, they will come" theology.

Pastor Benjamen S. Long

commented on Jun 13, 2013

...and the "pimping" of the Gospel continues. How incredibly sad to see "preachers" promote such garbage -- using the "if you sell it, they will come" theology.

Michael Dissmore

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Yes, Paul admonished Timothy to preach the word, but no where does the Bible limit preaching to a sit down lecture/monologue. 1 Corinthians 14:26 says What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If we're going to reach the Millennials, we must appeal to their inquisitive style of learning. EVERYONE participates.

Keith B

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Paul. It's a wonder the church has managed to survive this long, isn't it? I mean, we're so old-fashioned we actually expect people to sit and learn!

Don Jones

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Yep, I think we can say this article is unbiblical - "preaching of the cross is foolishness" ... because we are so much more educated today (a little sarcasm there). Yes, in a small church I may be the only one called in the congregation to preach. Larger congregations may have more individuals called and equipped to do so.

Dorna Chambers

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I wouldn't be quick to criticize this article. First of all those of us who do not preach are becoming spectators. We sit week after week and do the same thing. We sit, we sing and then we listen to someone preach their opinions on what the bible says. Then we go home. Its the same thing week after week. Nothing happens and it goes no where. While I wouldn't want to sit and listen to someone not called to preach, I would like to see more audience participation. We don't even get to request any songs or do anything. Everything is planned ahead of time, what songs to sing, how many and so forth. Everything is hum drum and its repeated every week. The same person prays at the end of the song service and over the offering. On the day of Pentecost everyone was praying and it showed an active live church where everyone was involved. Now its only the speaker and the worship team, the rest of us just sit. I know we have to have some order and not a free for all but some of us feel its not our church its their church.

Dorna Chambers

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I wouldn't be quick to criticize this article. First of all those of us who do not preach are becoming spectators. We sit week after week and do the same thing. We sit, we sing and then we listen to someone preach their opinions on what the bible says. Then we go home. Its the same thing week after week. Nothing happens and it goes no where. While I wouldn't want to sit and listen to someone not called to preach, I would like to see more audience participation. We don't even get to request any songs or do anything. Everything is planned ahead of time, what songs to sing, how many and so forth. Everything is hum drum and its repeated every week. The same person prays at the end of the song service and over the offering. On the day of Pentecost everyone was praying and it showed an active live church where everyone was involved. Now its only the speaker and the worship team, the rest of us just sit. I know we have to have some order and not a free for all but some of us feel its not our church its their church.

Dorna Chambers

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I wouldn't be quick to criticize this article. First of all those of us who do not preach are becoming spectators. We sit week after week and do the same thing. We sit, we sing and then we listen to someone preach their opinions on what the bible says. Then we go home. Its the same thing week after week. Nothing happens and it goes no where. While I wouldn't want to sit and listen to someone not called to preach, I would like to see more audience participation. We don't even get to request any songs or do anything. Everything is planned ahead of time, what songs to sing, how many and so forth. Everything is hum drum and its repeated every week. The same person prays at the end of the song service and over the offering. On the day of Pentecost everyone was praying and it showed an active live church where everyone was involved. Now its only the speaker and the worship team, the rest of us just sit. I know we have to have some order and not a free for all but some of us feel its not our church its their church.

Keith B

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Dorna...many churches have a lot of involvement in the service from the Board, the music team, etc. But why would we want to have the average person sitting in the pew that is not in any kind of a leadership position telling the church how to do church? Church isn't intended to entertain people--it's to worship God.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Don, actually, the Apostle Paul assumes everything has something to share. Michael Dismore beat me to this text, but it bears repeating, at least as much as 2 Timothy 4:2. First Corinthians 4:26 says, "When you come together, EACH ONE has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up (emphasis mine)." If born again, spirit-filled members of the body of Christ do not have anything meaningful to share in corporate worship, the responsibility for that lies at the feet of the pastors, who have not been faithful to their clear biblical calling to equip the saints for the work of ministry. I do think the authors of the article overstated their case against preaching, although it does appear to me that their argument is more against the modern notion of preaching, rather than true biblical preaching itself. True biblical preaching has a place in worship. But nothing in Scripture indicates that preaching, nor preachers, have the central focus in worship. I think too many modern pastors have placed undue emphasis on 2 Timothy 4:2, to the exclusion of Ephesians 4:11-16 (which is the only text in the NT that SPECIFICALLY mentions the office of pastor).

Doug Bower

commented on Jun 13, 2013

It has come to my attention over the past few years that the mainline denominations are declining. The Churches that are growing have more energy and intensity. Member after member, nonbeliever after nonbeliever, are reporting that they "space out" or "zone out" within minutes of the start of a sermon. I can count on one hand myself the number sermons of over a half an hour I could listen to. In addition, show in scripture one 15 minute sermon that is recorded. I can read the "beatitudes" out loud faster than that. The author's statement "I am increasingly convinced that the sit-sing-sermon model of church has had its day, and needs to give way to something new ? something interactive, and engaging, and empowering, where God?s people are invited to contribute and participate" flew in the face of a traditional model, a model that leads people again, to "zone out" and say Church is boring. Facilitation, a humanistic curse word by the looks of the reactions involves participation. It might actually look like Pentecost with all the involvement in the spirit that powerful experience demonstrated. Given the defensiveness I saw in the responses, it appears that old presuppositions have been stepped on. Who said that preaching is the old fashioned sermon of the worship service? "euaggeliz?" as announcing is not limited to the older model of sermons which most of us called to preach have been led to believe. It entails serving, fellowship, helping, healing, interacting, and engaging both believers and nonbelievers with the "good news." I hope some who reacted with such firmness will consider "euaggeliz?" etc., with different presuppositions.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@kb, "why would we want to have the average person sitting in the pew that is not in any kind of a leadership position telling the church how to do church?" Because, with all due respect, that person sitting in the pew whom you condescendingly look down on as "average" is NOT average at all. That person sitting in the pew is a born-again, Holy Spirit-filled member of the body of Christ, and your title or "leadership position" in the church gives you no more right to have your voice heard than him or her. Again, listen to the words of Paul: "When you come together, EACH ONE has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation." I know you're a stickler for always interpreting Paul literally, so you should understand that "each one" means just what it says: "EACH ONE."

Keith B

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Bill. Brother, please don't make assumptions about how I feel about the members of my church. Now...back to the text. Who do you think Paul was talking about when he said "Each one"? Was it any person that walked in off the street? Was anyone allowed to have as much say as they wanted to in a service? Or was it perhaps those that were among the known Christian brothers in the given church? Would they have been expected to allow a Roman soldier to walk in and address the assembly without some form of vetting?

Keith B

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I also take exception to the author's statements that preachers just want to hold on to authority, or that they have all the right answers, or that they want all the credit. When I preach I don't speak for myself. I open God's word and speak what the Bible says. It's not about my opinion or my agenda.

Jim Heckman

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I am involved in the training of church leaders in closed countries. We have used the facilitation model for several years and it is much more productive in the learning process than lecture (aka preaching) . I have also been a pastor for over 20 years. I like your suggestion, but would be very careful in the implementation process. Great ideas can die a horrible death if not introduced carefully. Some will criticize your suggestion, but ask the typical church member what they remember from the sermon and you will be disappointed by their response. People learn best when they are actively involved in the process.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@kb, I made no assumptions. I quoted you word-for-word, and I happen to think you're quote comes off as condescending. If you disagree, that is certainly your right. Be aware, though, that many in your congregation may also interpret the attitude implied by your comments as condescending, whether they admit it to you or not. You should also be aware that Paul never uses language such as "average person sitting in the pews" to describe any Christian. He uses language such as "saints," "new creation," "members of the body of Christ," etc. It would be good if we could use such language, ourselves! "Who do you think Paul was talking about when he said 'Each one'? Was it any person that walked in off the street?" Of course not. Paul is clearly talking to Christians. And his point is clear: EVERY CHRISTIAN has, not only the right, but the responsibility, to contribute to corporate worship.

Stephen Gaines

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Ironically, many of the postings on this blog serve to illustrate many of the points in the article.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

To be fair to the many pastors who have posted, I repeat that I do think the authors perhaps overstated their case, so I can understand the defensiveness. It's a natural, human reaction. I wish the authors would've been more clear in affirming that "preaching" as a concept is Biblical, but that a lot of what we know as preaching in 21st century Western Christianity is not actually preaching in the Biblical sense. For example, although Paul does charge Timothy to "preach the word," no where does he say that Timothy is to preach the word every week, or that he alone and no one else should preach the word. And yet, when most of us think of preaching, we have those unbiblical ideas in mind: one person preaching every week. Not to mention very little participation, proportionally, from anyone else in the congregation during any other area of corporate worship, in contradiction to 1 Corinthians 14. Like I said, I understand the defensiveness, but I ask all pastors to please get past the initial defensiveness for a moment and see if maybe there isn't something here that would in fact be beneficial to your ministry. If nothing else, at least an affirmation that the way you are exercising the preaching ministry at your church is not what is being condemned in the article.

Steven Chapman

commented on Jun 13, 2013

One of the ways that this works itself out is through the Sticky Church model, a model we adopted ourselves before stumbling across Larry Osborne's book. It values the preaching of the word, but it also engages people in the conversation. The preacher teaches during the Worship time, and (how we have done it is) immediately move into group environments where prepared leaders can facilitate a discussion on the message: answer questions, share stories, search for application in the context of community. I have found, as Larry Osborne says, that I have become a better preacher because people know they will have an opportunity to talk about it afterwards. Since we have made the transition, I have noticed frequently that people are talking about Sunday's message far into the week.

Steven Chapman

commented on Jun 13, 2013

The Sticky Church model also helps avoid the "shared ignorance" that can be an issue in group environments. Since the foundational Biblical content was shared in the message with everyone, they have a common starting point for dialogue - a starting point that would be thoroughly biblical if the Pastor did his job effectively. (BTW, my primary responsibility is not to preach, but to equip God's people, which I do through preaching and teaching others to preach).

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Steven, that sounds like an excellent and creative application of the concept that is being talked about. Thank you so much for sharing! By the way, there is another way to avoid the "shared ignorance" problem, and that is to teach the congregation as a whole, one-on-one and in small groups, how to study and interpret the Bible for themselves. Our pastor has been focusing on that work since he got here about five years ago, and it has paid rich dividends.

Paul Burgio

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I disagree with this option. I believe perhaps three elders, (who are supposed to be able to teach), should rotate through the pulpit each week, teaching through a book of the Bible. This will avoid "empty pulpit syndrome" should the pastor leave; it will also involve different teaching styles and spread the work out. Each elder will sharpen the other. Additionally, there should be an interactive weekly home fellowship where those attending can discuss the teaching from the previous Sunday. Lastly, and the most important in my opinion, is teaching the congregation to learn to study the Bible on their own, as was mentioned in a previous post. When individual believers get excited about the Word of God, it pays off. We are currently using Howard G. Hendricks DVD series "Living by the Book."

Rodney Shanner

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Facilitating is a piece of cake. Occasionally I interact with those in attendance on Wednesday evenings. However, God's Word says people are not saved without a preacher which is what He called me to be. That aside, the most critical matter in this is the proper exegesis of the Scripture. It is not a matter of "here's what it means to me". It is a matter of doing the work of understanding the historical situation, familiarization with Scriptural language techniques, understanding terminology, and scholarly research.. It's not about what I think, it is about proper interpretation by those who understand the discipline.

Darrin Mariott

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This approach--as well meaning as it may seem--is yet another ill-fated attempt to water down Scriptural imperatives and cater to the secular culture. It's one thing to know our audience and adjust our method accordingly; it's quite another to ignore Jesus' method of teaching the masses and ignoring clear Scriptural command to preach the Word. Moreover, this article is an insult to all faithful pastors and preachers who do indeed listen, ask the right questions, give credit to others, willingly hand over authority, and gladly give others a voice. Our culture is exerting a powerful pressure on churches to conform to its mores and methods. The more we yield to that pressure, the less we will resemble Christ and the less the Gospel will matter. Unfortunately, this article is simply another step in that direction.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Paul, Hendricks' book is excellent! It is the book our pastor uses to train us how to study the Bible for ourselves. I was not aware there was a DVD that accompanied the book; I'll have to look for it! Another excellent resource, but this one a little more academic, is a book I just found by Robert Traina and David Bauer called Inductive Bible Study. There is an accompanying video series on iTunes University, available for free. I'm currently working through this material on my own as an "advanced course." Not to be used for beginners, but it is excellent for those who are able to go deeper.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Rodney, with all due respect, if you think "facilitating" is a piece of cake, I'd seriously doubt if you've ever actually done it. Facilitating is not the same as simply "interacting." Sure, anyone can do that. Real facilitating, however, is about leading a person to discover knowledge for themselves, thereby giving them ownership of that knowledge and providing them with a more powerful motivation for integrating that knowledge into their lives than if they had simply been told it. This requires a certain skill set that one must learn, but which makes a radical difference between a student who memorizes facts and one who actually learns how to think for oneself. Also, proper exegesis is something that can be taught to every born-again, spirit-filled Christian.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Darrin, "it's quite another to ignore Jesus' method of teaching the masses." Are you serious? Jesus' method of teaching the masses was significantly more interactive than what you will find in the typical, 21st century sermon! And again, we need to be careful that when we read Paul's charge to Timothy to preach the Word, that we do not take our contemporary version of preaching, automatically import it into the text, and think that that is what Paul is talking about. Such a practice is known as "eisegesis," reading our own preconceived ideas into the text. "this article is an insult to all faithful pastors and preachers who do indeed listen, ask the right questions, give credit to others, willingly hand over authority, and gladly give others a voice." Such pastors as you describe, and I do believe there are many of them, have no reason to be insulted. Why would anyone be insulted by an article that encourages all pastors to do what such pastors as you describe ALREADY do? On the contrary, these are the pastors that should be saying AMEN the loudest!

Thomas J. Dawes

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Wow. Preachers take all the credit? Really? Not in OUR church. I expect better articles from SermonCentral than this. Tomorrow maybe.

Thomas J. Dawes

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Wow. Preachers take all the credit? Really? Not in OUR church. I expect better articles from SermonCentral than this. Tomorrow maybe.

Darrin Mariott

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Bill, thanks for your feedback, but I stand by what I said. First, Jesus' method was to teach the masses (eg. Matt. 5:2), not to "facilitate". And if at times His method was more interactive than a typical 21st Century sermon, it's clear that His main method was to teach and preach (cf. Matt. 4:17; 13:54; 21:23, et al.). Nowhere does it say that Jesus came to facilitate. Second, I'm not the one practicing eisegesis here; I'm just taking the Scriptural admonition at face value. Paul simply says to, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season." He does not say facilitate the Word or to sit in a big circle and see who has the most insight into the Word--He says preach it! I agree that methods may look different from one generation to the next, but the admonition to preach does not. (Frankly, it does not take a lot of exegetical skill to understand what Paul means in 2 Tim. 4:2.) Third, and finally, I do think the article is an insult to pastors in that the authors infer that those that preach don't listen, don't ask the right question, don't give credit, don't hand over authority, and don't give others a voice because clearly, preaching is the opposite of facilitating! That's their inference, not mine. They set up the either/or criteria, I'm simply pointing it out. I'm not saying that there isn't a place for good facilitation in the life of the church, but that is not the pulpit call. It has no Biblical or historical basis but is a recent cultural phenomenon.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Darrin, I appreciate you taking the time to interact with me. Let me start off saying again that I don't agree with everything the article says. I think it has some weaknesses. And I understand how the tone could lead many to become defensive. I really do get it. Having said that, there is a different perspective from which to read this article which can yield some valuable insights. Now, as to your specific points, yes, Jesus' main method was to preach and teach. But again, the descriptions of Jesus teaching and preaching in the Gospels show much interaction, for example, in John 8. There is nothing in the Bible that specifically limits preaching to ONE person doing all the talking with no significant interaction from those listening. But since that is the typical contemporary sermon, we naturally assume that that method is what the Bible talks about when it talks about preaching and teaching. Biblical descriptions of Jesus' teaching and preaching show that that is not always the case. "He does not say facilitate the Word or to sit in a big circle and see who has the most insight into the Word." It appears that most people speaking negatively about "facilitating" don't actually understand what it means. Facilitating can be defined as "to help bring about." In this context, we are talking about helping to bring about the growth of the body of Christ, by equipping the saints for ministry. This, by the way, is exactly what Ephesians 4 is talking about, even if the exact word "facilitate" is not used. Finally, I don't think the article is meant to be an insult to pastors, although like I said, I understand how it can come across that way. By the way, just to make sure we are using correct terms, a writer does not infer, a writer IMPLIES. It is the reader who infers. Still, I do not think it was the intention of the authors to imply that "those that preach don't listen, don't ask the right question, don't give credit, don't hand over authority, and don't give others a voice." After reading the article several times, it seem to me that the authors are using the terms "preaching" and "facilitating", not as specific activities, but rather as paradigms, as ways of thinking and doing. The "preaching" paradigm focus more on performance, while the "facilitating" paradigm focuses more on empowering all the members to function properly as the Body of Christ. When viewed from this perspective, and the authors alone know if I am understanding them correctly, the article, far from being a call to abandon preaching, is actually a call to return to real, interactive, Biblical preaching, resulting in the growth of the Body of Christ. If I am correct in what I have inferred, I do wish the authors had argued that more clearly. My point is, I have a strong feeling that the article is not quite as "heretical" as many on here think it is. Perhaps its main point is just not articulated clearly enough.

Zachary Bartels

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I'm glad the title ends with a question mark. The answer, of course, is "Me genoito!" This isn't bold; it's just ridiculous.

Darrin Mariott

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Bill, thanks again for your feedback (and for your observation on the proper use of infer and imply, my bad). I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I simply stand by the model of preaching I've been advocating and I think the authors dismiss as outdated. You are correct to observe that Jesus' method of teaching shows some interaction (such as Jn. 8, for example), but His normative approach was to teach and preach. In fact, that seems to be the normative approach for the early church as well. Add this to the charge by Paul to preach and I simply cannot dismiss the value and importance of preaching in God's economy. Now, I want to make very clear that I am not dismissing the value of facilitating. I think it relevant and important in the life of the church--it has value and is an important tool for learning and spiritual growth, but not as a substitute for preaching. However, despite how you may interpret what the authors are saying about preaching and facilitating (as paradigms for thinking and doing), they are the ones calling for us to stop preaching and start facilitating. Their words. And they build this admonition on the faulty premise that preaching is performance. Not true! Preaching and teaching are simply the exercise of a spiritual gift to proclaim the Gospel and build up the body (cf. 1 Cor. 2:1-5; Eph. 4:11-13). Can it become performance? Sadly, yes. But we must not throw out the baby with the bath water. Just because preaching has become in some ways a cult of celebrity (which I loath) does not mean we must suddenly dispose of the clear teaching and example seen in Scripture regarding the Gospel proclamation (cf. Rom. 10:14-15). Should we get back to first principles regarding preaching and teaching as a calling to proclaim the Gospel and build up the church? Yes. Should we get away from preaching as entertainment? Again, yes. Should we abandon preaching for a more cultural friendly facilitation? Never. Not if we want to remain faithful to Scripture. Maybe you see something in the authors intent and message that I don't; I'm just taking them at face value. And while I think they raise some interesting points, their conclusion is based on faulty reasoning, poor Biblical and historical scholarship, and a tone deaf approach. I don't mean to sound harsh (and I know it comes across that way), but I simply think they are wrong.

Gail Surrago

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is innovative, creative, bold, needed and necessary for growth and the sustaining of the Church. However, I have not met a Pastor who is willing to give up their "platform." No kidding, I'm serious, that is their words, not mine. So, there you have it. Gail Surrago

Gail Surrago

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is innovative, creative, bold, needed and necessary for growth and the sustaining of the Church. However, I have not met a Pastor who is willing to give up their "platform." No kidding, I'm serious, that is their words, not mine. So, there you have it. Gail Surrago Also, I wouldn't go as far as making Service an open mic experience. Bad.. bad place to be. But, introduced properly and not necessarily for every service will be a refreshing and welcome experience.

Irene Allen

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I considered the word empowerment to be the operative and keyword in the article and don't believe the word 'facilitate' is a dirty word.. I still believe the authors objective is to help Gospel preaching leaders', facilitate the people of God into action, which is to do the work of the ministry. Not to do away with preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, but to actively represent the church of Jesus Christ as God's kingdom in the earth wherever we are planted- Many believer's seldom share the Good News with the lost (let alone do the work of the ministry). And even fewer may know how. At any rate. The mission of the pastor/preacher/teacher, should they accept, is still.. To equip their people. What good preacher wouldn't want to take time or learn how, to listen to their inner circle suggestions or ask questions and not give credit where credit is due for any who have great ones or delegate authority and allow their inner circle to have voice during staff meeting? The pastor/preacher cannot do so with everyone, but those who they've entrusted to steward their tens, hundreds or thousands can if facilitated properly to activate the troops. Jesus was the greatest facilitator ever as well as the Apostle Paul. Think about it for a minute. Facilitate is not a bad word.

Gail Surrago

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is innovative, creative, bold, needed and necessary for growth and the sustaining of the Church. However, I have not met a Pastor who is willing to give up their "platform." No kidding, I'm serious, that is their words, not mine. So, there you have it. Gail Surrago Also, I wouldn't go as far as making Service an open mic experience. Bad.. bad place to be. But, introduced properly and not necessarily for every service will be a refreshing and welcome experience. Steven, People will talk about the Sermon anyway, sometimes not in a very constructive manner. Giving them an opportunity with out making the Pastors feel like they are giving someone a "platform" can be a positive experience for the congregation and an opportunity for a more wholesome discussion.

Gail Surrago

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is innovative, creative, bold, needed and necessary for growth and the sustaining of the Church. However, I have not met a Pastor who is willing to give up their "platform." No kidding, I'm serious, that is their words, not mine. So, there you have it. Gail Surrago Also, I wouldn't go as far as making Service an open mic experience. Bad.. bad place to be. But, introduced properly and not necessarily for every service will be a refreshing and welcome experience. Steven, People will talk about the Sermon anyway, sometimes not in a very constructive manner. Giving them an opportunity with out making the Pastors feel like they are giving someone a "platform" can be a positive experience for the congregation and an opportunity for a more wholesome discussion.

Gail Surrago

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is innovative, creative, bold, needed and necessary for growth and the sustaining of the Church. However, I have not met a Pastor who is willing to give up their "platform." No kidding, I'm serious, that is their words, not mine. So, there you have it. Gail Surrago Also, I wouldn't go as far as making Service an open mic experience. Bad.. bad place to be. But, introduced properly and not necessarily for every service will be a refreshing and welcome experience. Steven, People will talk about the Sermon anyway, sometimes not in a very constructive manner. Giving them an opportunity with out making the Pastors feel like they are giving someone a "platform" can be a positive experience for the congregation and an opportunity for a more wholesome discussion. I'm think to introduce weekly Bible studies that focus on what the Sermon topic will be that same week would be very helpful.

Gail Surrago

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This is innovative, creative, bold, needed and necessary for growth and the sustaining of the Church. However, I have not met a Pastor who is willing to give up their "platform." No kidding, I'm serious, that is their words, not mine. So, there you have it. Gail Surrago Also, I wouldn't go as far as making Service an open mic experience. Bad.. bad place to be. But, introduced properly and not necessarily for every service will be a refreshing and welcome experience. Steven, People will talk about the Sermon anyway, sometimes not in a very constructive manner. Giving them an opportunity with out making the Pastors feel like they are giving someone a "platform" can be a positive experience for the congregation and an opportunity for a more wholesome discussion. I'm think to introduce weekly Bible studies that focus on what the Sermon topic will be that same week would be very helpful.

Steven Harmantas

commented on Jun 13, 2013

This article is based on new age thinking and is a lie from the pit of hell. It is absolute deception! My heart breaks when I read this kind of garbage that is leading people into confusion!!! Our church leaders today have concluded that the church can no longer be effective with the old ways of doing church. They have concluded that if we?re ever going to make a difference in people?s lives we need a new kind of Christianity. Thus we are now evolving into a new kind of church that no longer relies on the moving of the Holy Spirit! Yet the Bible says in Jeremiah 6:16 ?Thus says the Lord: ?Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls?? The Lord warned us that just before He returns there would be a falling away in the church from truth! Paul wrote in II Thessalonians 2:3 ?Let no man deceive you, by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come, a falling away first, and that man of sin, be revealed, the son of perdition.?

Zachary Bartels

commented on Jun 13, 2013

So, Gail Surrago has now given us, what SIX versions of the same comment? Some times the same from occurrence to occurrence, sometimes growing or changing a little. Is this some postmodern avant garde commentary on the postmodern drivel being promoted in this article? Or what?

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Darrin, I don't think you're being harsh, necessarily, at least not as harsh as some others have been. Some who have commented certainly seem to have a flair for the overdramatic! And it is certainly your prerogative to think they are wrong. And you might be right in your assessment. Perhaps the authors really are advocating the abandonment of preaching in any form, including its Biblical form. If that is the case, I would agree that they are wrong to throw out the baby with the bathwater. But I'm looking at it from a different perspective, and I just don't think that's what the authors are advocating. And obviously, I'm not alone. I agree with Irene that the key word seems to be "empowerment." I believe that that is the primary emphasis of the article, and how could empowering all the members of the church possibly be a bad thing? I believe that the kind of preaching they are critiquing is precisely the same kind of preaching that you also speak against, preaching that is performance and entertainment, preaching that feeds a cult of celebrity. So, there seems to be at least two different ways to interpret the article. The authors alone can tell us which interpretation comes closest to what they intended to communicate. Sometimes authors take the time to interact in the comments section, but unfortunately it is very rare that that happens. Anyways, I agree with most of what you said, and I don't think the authors would contradict much of it either, if speaking directly to your specific concerns. But I could be wrong. I guess we'll have to leave it there. I've appreciated your thoughts, and I especially appreciate the courtesy and respect in which you have conducted yourself. May God's blessings go with you!

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Zachary, "the postmodern drivel being promoted in this article?" Part of the problem with the term "postmodern" is that it is so ambiguous that it really does not communicate anything substantive. As a result, it says more about the person using the term than it does about the article itself. I'm curious, what exactly about this article do you consider to be "postmodern?"

Steven Harmantas

commented on Jun 13, 2013

My God, what confusion...the only "empowerment" needed is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit which todays modern church is lacking! Jesus said, not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. This article and many who are joining in is evidence of just how far we have "fallen away". We now mix truth and error. Jesus is coming soon...are you ready???

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Gail, what is being advocated is not an "open mic experience," but rather a return to the example of 1 Corinthians 14, where every member of the Body of Christ, having been equipped (facilitated) by the pastor for the work of ministry, has the right and the responsibility to contribute meaningfully to the corporate worship experience. Let us be honest and frank with ourselves, that does NOT describe the typical, evangelical worship service. If your church is an exception, praise the Lord. But what we experience in our worship services for the most part does not come close to what is described in the NT. The fact that most who have been critical of the article bring up 1 Timothy 4, but make little or no mention of 1 Corinthians 14, Ephesians 4, or many other similar passages, says a lot!

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Steven, "the only 'empowerment' needed is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit." Agreed. One hundred percent. Could you speak specifically to how anything I have written contradicts that truth. The fact that the Holy Spirit empowers us does not take away from the role that pastors have in facilitating that. Again, that is what Ephesians 4 is all about.

Lynn Marsh

commented on Jun 13, 2013

We have been practicing open church for several years, with with microphones posted around the horseshoe-shaped seating arrangement for everyone to use, and a hand-held mic for interactive message times. I still sometimes preach a sermon, but there is always opportunity for response or comment. The times things go deeper and people are really activated is when we pass the mic in the circle and encourage people to interact with the topic and/or passage, especially in terms of how it relates to their lives or situation. It still leaves room for a mini-message to draw things together or draw people back into scriptures that are relevant to what's been shared. People learn to express their faith more confidently and take responsibility for building one another up. It seems so much more fruitful and engaging.

Jacob Brimm

commented on Jun 13, 2013

I FLAT OUT disagree with this post. Pastors need to be more engaging, this I do agree with. However Sunday morning Sermon is about the Pastor Preaching (Teaching) the truths of the bible. This is why the Pastor has Seminary training. There are times when facilitating is proper, such as Wednesday service, or perhaps Thursday, or Sunday night. But most people come to church to be taught by the Pastor, not by someone else. The author says that the days of the Pastor are gone. WRONG! The Pastor who is competent is fine, the problem is that there are too many pop up pastors with ZERO training! The idea that Exegetical Pastors are a thing of the past is wrong, misguided, and needs to be removed from the minds of anyone in a Pastor position.

Kathleen Ward

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Thank you to everyone who has commented on this article. It was originally entitled "From preaching to facilitation: same skillset, different mindset" and appeared on my blog in the context of a discussion about moving from monologue to dialogue in churches. The editors of SermonCentral have chosen to go with a far more aggressive/provocative title ("Quit preaching"), obviously to stir up more passionate discussion/pushback (which it clearly has). I don't wish to advocate the end of preaching. I love nothing more than seeing God's WOrd taught powerfully and effectively in people's lives. When we meet as "church in a circle", we hold the teaching of Scripture to be the central focus of our meeting. However, as many educators and Universities have discovered (and are moving away from), placing people in rows and making them listen passively to lengthy monologues by "experts" isn't the best way to teach people or empower them to apply their teaching and pass it on to others. People understand and retain for more when they are involved and participating int he learning process. We're not talking about just an "open mic" experience, but about empowering and equipping God's people to get their hands directly on the Word of God; hear it; repeat it; discuss it; apply it; and leave the room ready to put it into action. We're talking about giving them the tools to learn form God's WOrd, from the Holy Spirit, and from each other, and to seek God's voice to the whole community, not just listen to one person. To anyone who has misinterpreted the point we are making or taken offence at our tone, I sincerely apologise. I can see how some of the choice of words (and change in the title) could come across. This article was initially written for a different audience and context. For those who have given us the benefit of the doubt - thank you. I have enjoyed reading your comments and thoughts. Blessings.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Jacob, "Sunday morning Sermon is about the Pastor Preaching (Teaching) the truths of the bible." There is absolutely nothing in the NT to back up that assertion. The early church met daily (Acts 2:46), and the instructions in 1 Corinthians 14 for each of the members to contribute were specifically for "when you come together" (v. 26), including on Sundays. The verse does not say, "when you come together at any time other than Sunday morning." There is nothing in the NT that limits any corporate gathering to the participation of one person only, or even primarily. "most people come to church to be taught by the Pastor, not by someone else." If I were to say, "most people come to church to be entertained," I suspect the majority of pastors on here would rightly respond, "It doesn't matter what most people come to church for, what matters is what the Bible says we should come to church for." The same response applies to your comment as well. People should not come to church to be taught by the Pastor. They should come to church to contribute meaningfully to the edification of the Body of Christ. THAT is what the Bible says. And any pastor who does not equip the members to do so, and instead is content to monopolize the corporate gathering because that is what "most people who come to church" expect, has failed in his calling and is no better than the pastor who merely entertains people for the same reason (because he believes that's what most people are there for). The Bible alone, and not the expectations of the people who show up for church, provides our agenda. "The author says that the days of the Pastor are gone." Umm, no, sorry. I've read and re-read this article countless times, to see if perhaps most of you are seeing something there that I'm not seeing. And the authors NEVER say that, nor anything like that. In fact, the more I re-read it, the more convinced I become that too many here were so prejudiced by the title itself that they never actually gave the article a fair, objective evaluation. They immediately switched into "defensive" mode. But for me, the heart of the article is in the statement: "The truth is, churches are going to need leadership as much as ever if they move from performance to empowerment." This is their main point. They desire for churches to move from PERFORMANCE to EMPOWERMENT. If your preaching ministry is focused on performance, it deserves to be condemned. If your preaching ministry is focused on empowering, if it is focused on facilitating your members to be equipped for the work of ministry, and to be trained to contribute meaningfully to the corporate worship gathering, this is what is being proposed. This does not take away from true Biblical preaching. On the contrary, it restores Biblical preaching and teaching to its original, proper role in the building up of the Church.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Kathleen, thank you so much for coming here and sharing some much needed context and clarification for us. It was extremely helpful! Blessings to you and to your husband in your ministry.

Kathleen Ward

commented on Jun 13, 2013

@Bill, thank you. I like your style.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Jun 13, 2013

Kathleen, thank you for responding to the comments on your article. Let me make some observations about what the Bible says preaching is. The definitions of "preach" or "preached in the Greek and Hebrew are as follows: to announce; messenger; preach; publish; shew forth; carry; to call out; cry; mention; proclaim; pronounce; declare; to herald, i.e. of divine truth (espec. of the gospel); to herald (as a public crier). Those are the BIBLICAL definitions of what preachers are called to do! Here are some definitions from Webster's of those word's meanings. Announce: make known; proclaim; to report. Herald: A proclaimer; a publisher; a messenger; a forerunner; to introduce; to foretell. Preach: to declare in public; to deliver a public discourse on some religious subject; to deliver a sermon, as from the Gospel; to discourse on moral or religious topics, especially in a tiresome manner; to advise or exhort like a preacher; to expound or proclaim by preaching. Proclaim: to announce officially; to announce to be; to show to be. I could go on but I think you see my point. In every instance in the BIBLICAL definition of preaching, you have someone standing before people "in rows and making them listen passively to lengthy monologues by "experts"." I see nothing about interacting or asking how people feel about what God says. Sunday school, small groups, Bible studies, etc. are great places to "facilitate." But on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening, the people in the church I pastor will open their Bibles and hear a sermon preached from God's Word by the man that God called to be their pastor and preacher.

Jack Cheung

commented on Jun 14, 2013

When I first read the title ?Quit Preaching and Start Facilitating? A Bold Proposal?, I was disturbed that I had to read the article to know how bold the author is to propose to quit preaching. But while I was reading, it reminded and inspired me how to engage people when preaching. [1)Preaching involves talking ? facilitation is about listening.] I always admire Jesus who knows the thought of audiences and responds accordingly. John Stott prompted us to listen to the responses/questions/arguments in the thought of audiences in order to engage them effectively to the Words of God. It?s not easy and always needs empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Paul said at 1 Cor 3:2 ?If we have the gift of prophecy and ? all knowledge, ?. but do not have love, we are nothing?. If we love our church members, we would keen to listen to them during our sermon preparation, while preaching and after that. We are willing to listen because we want others to examine the Scriptures every time to see if what we said was true, just as what the Berean Jews did at Acts 17, and to weigh/discern/judge what we said as instructed at 1 Cor 14:29. We preach, listen, communicate and respond. Good preaching always includes talking, listening and response to listening, even physically only the preacher is talking. [2)Preaching has all the right answers ? facilitators ask the right questions.] Asking right questions is usually a good approach to stimulate and engage others for a deeper thought. See how many questions Jesus asked his disciples and followers. See Paul asked more than 7 questions at 1 Cor 1-7. We have to learn to ask the right questions when we preach. The questions we ask can allow our answers having a bigger impact. [3)Preachers take all the credit ? facilitators give all the credit. 4)Preachers hold on to authority ? facilitators hand over authority. 5)Preachers have a voice ? facilitators give others a voice.] These are similar to building a team, and the good leaders (of present secular standard) usually give the credit/authority/voice to others in order to facilitate teamwork, which I know is arguably an secular approach but I love it since I am a sinner and I know how important it?s to give them to others in order to taste a little humility. Of course we can?t stop here. We need to preach and teach how to handle the authority God entrusted to us and how to humbly receive credits. I didn?t expect there?re so many comments while I was reading the article. How enthusiastic we?re when defending the truth. I tried to figure out what?s in someone?s thought when I wrote this comment, but I didn?t have a clear idea. However, when I prayed, I ?knew? our Heavenly Father?s smiling because we love Him and His Words, also we love or at least concern each other.

Jack Cheung

commented on Jun 14, 2013

When I first read the title ?Quit Preaching and Start Facilitating? A Bold Proposal?, I was disturbed that I had to read the article to know how bold the author is to propose to quit preaching. But while I was reading, it reminded and inspired me how to engage people when preaching. [1)Preaching involves talking ? facilitation is about listening.] I always admire Jesus who knows the thought of audiences and responds accordingly. John Stott prompted us to listen to the responses/questions/arguments in the thought of audiences in order to engage them effectively to the Words of God. It?s not easy and always needs empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Paul said at 1 Cor 3:2 ?If we have the gift of prophecy and ? all knowledge, ?. but do not have love, we are nothing?. If we love our church members, we would keen to listen to them during our sermon preparation, while preaching and after that. We are willing to listen because we want others to examine the Scriptures every time to see if what we said was true, just as what the Berean Jews did at Acts 17, and to weigh/discern/judge what we said as instructed at 1 Cor 14:29. We preach, listen, communicate and respond. Good preaching always includes talking, listening and response to listening, even physically only the preacher is talking. [2)Preaching has all the right answers ? facilitators ask the right questions.] Asking right questions is usually a good approach to stimulate and engage others for a deeper thought. See how many questions Jesus asked his disciples and followers. See Paul asked more than 7 questions at 1 Cor 1-7. We have to learn to ask the right questions when we preach. The questions we ask can allow our answers having a bigger impact. [3)Preachers take all the credit ? facilitators give all the credit. 4)Preachers hold on to authority ? facilitators hand over authority. 5)Preachers have a voice ? facilitators give others a voice.] These are similar to building a team, and the good leaders (of present secular standard) usually give the credit/authority/voice to others in order to facilitate teamwork, which I know is arguably an secular approach but I love it since I am a sinner and I know how important it?s to give them to others in order to taste a little humility. Of course we can?t stop here. We need to preach and teach how to handle the authority God entrusted to us and how to humbly receive credits. I didn?t expect there?re so many comments while I was reading the article. How enthusiastic we?re when defending the truth. I tried to figure out what?s in someone?s thought when I wrote this comment, but I didn?t have a clear idea. However, when I prayed, I ?knew? our Heavenly Father?s smiling because we love Him and His Words, also we love or at least concern each other.

Vincent Aja

commented on Jun 14, 2013

The truth that one knows shall set the person free (John 8:32). There are two different kinds of people in the ministry today. The number one group were in larger part who are the "Professionals" they can say anything and do anything in the name of God. The number two groups are those who knew that they were called, and no matter the struggle they will stick to the Biblical truth. A pastor has his or her place in the ministry. We have problems today because everybody wants to be a pastor, but the Holy Spirit has divided the office of the ministry. A pastor has every minute right when presenting the gospel message..., and if one`s interest in coming to the Church is all about salvation. Then the person has the right during the mid-week Bible class to ask any question. This is how the Holy Spirit wants the "Ministry Leadership" to function:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). Take notice of this please!

Don Jones

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Note: wrote up rough draft last night and see that we have gone way past this already in comments, but please allow me to post even if it appears to be redundant to other comments -@Bill, the John 8 passage you refer to speaks of Jesus "teaching" (from word didasko = lexicons define as instruction in informal or formal settings) so I would expect the interaction. When I "teach" I do try and help folks draw out from the text and ask questions and there is interaction. The words translated "preaching" in NT (parakaleo, kerusso, euaggelizo, etc., = defined as announce, proclaim, herald, etc.) I don't see where these words show "much interaction" in the context as you state. Perhaps some dialogue with Pharisees where they were challenging His statements. But even looking at the teaching passages, I see some questions asked, but I don't a great deal of interaction or facilitating on Jesus' part. In my preaching, I will ask the congregation questions from time to time to try and help them interact with the text or get them to think through an issue, but it is different than a teaching environment. There certainly does seem to be a difference between the teaching and preaching ministry of a pastor as pointed out in the Pastoral Epistles. 1 Tim 5:17 refers to elders who work hard at preaching (logos) and teaching (didasko); 1 Tim. 6:2 teach (didasko) and preach (parakaleo) this principles; 1 Tim. 4:2 peach (kerusso) the Word. Having said that, I do think we need to make the corporate time together participatory. The singing of our worship should be participatory not performance; opportunity to take prayer requests corporately and then pray together (groups, individuals to lead, etc.), a time of testimony and praise (opportunity to share a Biblical truth learned, God's direction in life, etc). We don't get as much participation as we would like, but working on it. I am convinced that I need to continue to learn how to present God's truth more effectively through preaching so continue to attempt to learn (continuing ed, books, podcasts and other means). I don't find that having people participate and use their spiritual gifts in a corporate worship service means that preaching (kerusso, parakaleo) has to be abandoned.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Dennis, for the sake of argument, let's accept for a moment your premise that Biblical preaching is intended to be primarily a passive, one-way form of communication by an expert, like a lecture. You wrote, "on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening, the people in the church I pastor will open their Bibles and hear a sermon preached from God's Word by the man that God called to be their pastor and preacher." That's fine, I don't have a problem with a gathering that includes preaching as you understand it, as long as that is not what dominates the gathering. In those same gatherings, do the people in the church that you pastor, that are Christians, also have the right and the responsibility to contribute meaningfully in the worship experience. Does "each one have a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation." If so, in what ways? If not, if the majority of the worship time is dominated by one person only, or even primarily, then how do you respond to Paul's specific instructions in 1 Corinthians that whenever the church comes together, each one is to contribute meaningfully?

Derek Bennett Skinner

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I have been in Education and Training for what amounts to nearly 30 years. I too hate the sing, sit, sermon model. I have also been preaching for some time - but only used the facilitation method perhaps 3 to 4 times. I wish I'd used the facilitation method more often. At least people might have remembered what I'd said - because that's what facilitation does - the level of retention of information is approximately 50 percent higher.

Charles Ingwe

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Hi Bill and Darrin, have enjoyed your interaction. Bill has always been a lovely brother to do study with. My observation Bill is that whilst this article has some points to consider; the headline of the article tells a set position Bill which is so clear and wrong. It says " QUIT PREACHING". Further it is plain fact that he feels pastors are egocentric. So Darrin has been bringing out facts regarding the authors' intentions. Bill, with due respect to your sound exposition of the word, I suppose the word to preach simply means to take across a talk, advice, showing someone direction according to the knowledge attained by the speaker. Now this talk can be given in many different forms according to the conviction at heart of the speaker, in line with scripture. This can be a one person deliverance, a sharing type in facilitaion form e.t.c. However, to say quit preaching, to mean the one person delivery is not bible. In God's infinity wisdom, he has asked us to develop a strong ability of learning the leading of the spirit because no matter what, even with the best facilitation or one person preaching, there will always be in our churches the Moses type who will say I do not know how to speak so please let me go with Aaron. Let us embrace all the teaching methods in line with conviction of the spirit at the right time in the right place.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Don, I appreciate that you took the time to comment, so I will take the time to respond. Just to say that I agree with most of what you wrote. "Having said that, I do think we need to make the corporate time together participatory...We don't get as much participation as we would like, but working on it." That's the main point the article is making. "I don't find that having people participate and use their spiritual gifts in a corporate worship service means that preaching (kerusso, parakaleo) has to be abandoned." You are right, and neither do I believe that, nor do the authors. One of the authors clarified that last night: "I don't wish to advocate the end of preaching." So, despite any disagreement on specific details, we are all in basic agreement with the fundamental premise of the article. Thank you for your thoughts!

Chris Linzey

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I can understand the facilitation in a small group or house church setting. How are you expecting pastors to carry it out in larger group settings?

Chris Linzey

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I can understand the facilitation in a small group or house church setting. How are you expecting pastors to carry it out in larger group settings?

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Charles, thank you for your contribution. You may have missed this, but last night one of the authors of the article commented and offered some clarifications to the article. I refer you to comment #76. Here, she specifically says that the article title on this site (which obviously has prejudiced many against the article before they even read it!) is different from the title on the article as it appeared originally on her blog. I know you and many others have a big problem with the title, but that problem is with sermoncentral.com, not with the authors, who did not choose that title. "Further it is plain fact that he feels pastors are egocentric. So Darrin has been bringing out facts regarding the authors' intentions." I don't think you understand the meaning of the word "fact." What you wrote, and what Darrin understood, are not facts regarding the authors' intentions. They are your own opinions about what you understood the authors' intentions to be. And according to one of the authors herself, you and Darrin and others have misunderstood their intentions.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Don, again, I refer you to comment #76. The title was not chosen by the authors, nor do they endorse it. The title has NOTHING TO DO with the fundamental premise of the article! Your words: "I do think we need to make the corporate time together participatory." Their words: "something interactive, and engaging, and empowering, where God?s people are invited to contribute and participate." That is the fundamental premise of the article, and you are agreeing with that. Why are you afraid of admitting that, man? It doesn't mean you agree with everything the article says. It simply means that you don't disagree with the fundamental premise: that corporate gatherings must be more participatory.

Keith B

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I would point out that one issue is that the article was so vague lot hat people are jumping to conclusions based on the title. I honestly read it and came away thinking i had no clue what it was they were advocating for. An example of what the idea looks like might have been nice to see.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

People, seriously, we are all educated adults here. When one of the authors specifically says the title was chosen by the website, not by them, why do people continue to judge the article on the title?? Are we so desperate to prove ourselves right that we are willing to ignore plain English? Why does no one take THAT at "face value"?

Chris Linzey

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@kb - exactly! What are they asking pastors to do differently? what does facilitation look like in my service?

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@KB, I agree that the "vagueness" of the article was certainly a big problem. As the author clarified last night, the article originally appeared in her blog and was intended for a different audience, which explains how it could easily be misunderstood by an audience consisting mostly of preachers. I clicked on the link to her blog, and found that the article was just one in a series on the larger topic of "Facilitation." I'd recommend that anyone who is interested in a more accurate understanding of what the authors are advocating to check out the blog itself.

Jimmy Jackson

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Preaching is a monologue, teaching is a dialogue and both have a purpose and time. I wonder if the author has ever sit down with someone that all they what to do is pick out a verse from God's holy word and justify why they are doing what they are doing. Now, image twenty to hundred of these sweet babies in Christ. Preaching is proclaiming the word of God, teaching is encouraging the child of God.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Chris, I'd recommend you check out their blog. They posted an article on August 10, 2012, called "A new strategy for doing church" that might give you a better idea of how what they are proposing actually "looks like." In fact, even if one were to continue with the traditional lecture model of preaching, incorporating some of the other suggestions to the corporate worship experience would begin moving the experience towards resembling more what we actually see in the NT.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Jimmy, "I wonder if the author has ever sit down with someone that all they what to do is pick out a verse from God's holy word and justify why they are doing what they are doing. Now, image twenty to hundred of these sweet babies in Christ." That is why the job of the pastor is to "to equip the saints for the work of ministry,...until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ." See Ephesians 4. If your congregation is made up mostly of "sweet babies in Christ" who are not equipped to contribute meaningfully to corporate gatherings, who are unable to study and interpret the Bible responsibly for themselves, who are dependent on one person to tell them what the Bible means--I'm sorry, but such a pastor with such a congregation is not fulfilling their Biblical call.

Don Jones

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Bill - actually Bill, I am not in basic agreement with the fundamental premise of this article at least as stated in the title to stop preaching and start facilitating.

Michael Karpf

commented on Jun 14, 2013

First, after reading the article, I do not consider facilitating to be unbiblical. There is definitely a place for it, and the facilitator needs to be skilled at guiding the group. I also think, and I am just as guilty, it is easy to overreact to the title of this article. As I said before, there is a time and a place for facilitating. However I think that attention needs to be given to the preaching of God's word on Sunday. I have been to house churches in Japan, that use a participatory preaching style. That is great for everyone to participate. But too often, we hear, "this is what it means to me." It doesn't matter what it means to you. It matters what the author meant when he wrote it. This is why I spend several hours in exegesis, to determine that. When it's time to preach the message, I don't want to be the center, I want Jesus to be the center and I pray He is. My church back home has small groups that meet each week, and the focus of their small group discussion is on the Sunday message. For someone who has been through seminary, and has a teaching gift, naturally he will want to teach it. I have often found that if the pastor gives a good message, people will be talking about it after church and through the week...perhaps they will remember that message for years. I have. Some good discussion and food for thought here.

Mike Ingo

commented on Jun 14, 2013

How did Jesus do it? I agree dialogue is good in certain settings and have it during our Bible studies, but I also understand why Christ gave "some" to lead in specific settings (Ephesians 4:11). It can be a tool used to benefit or it can turn into a confusing "discussion" of doctrine (depending on who is present). In my case it has nothing to do with "lording my authority over the Gentiles" but I am held accountable as to what is taught in our Sanctuary.

Irene Allen

commented on Jun 14, 2013

When I read the title I was a bit confused at first at its meaning, but the article proved the author's intent- To help guide pastor's to transfer their skills that apply to every pastor or the non-pastor they serve, and that, by the spirit of God, into every life they shepherd. Has anyone ever been in a sing-sit-sermon type setting and the pastor asks the congregants to interact with the person sitting beside them, for whatever reason? Maybe to just a hello? I know that is a very simple form of engaging one another during a worship experience, but one nonetheless. Showing a little hospitality maybe? Especially after sitting or standing next to your brother or sister in the Lord during worship, who we may not of even introduced yourself to. I believe in laying those practical workings of the ministry right on the table in plain sight, so we can know what kind of works we are referring to. From the simple to the complex. Every good pastor will name the works of ministry that represent Jesus Christ we were called to work in the earth. First by setting the example to do so from the word of God (teaching) in conjunction with being their example. In other words facilitating in action what's been spoken before the people. The pastor/teacher has much to do after the initial salvation of their sheep. They are commissioned to make by facilitating, disciples of Jesus Christ so each one can in turn, engage, interact and impact their worlds.. Beginning with those of the household of faith (the church) which includes our families and then be led by the Spirit of God to whom we extend the works of the ministry towards.. One ministry or pastor or leader is called to do all of the work, but we are perfectly knitted as one as workman to do the work of the ministry. Mr. Bill, I must concur with Kathleen, your approach to express is very on point!

Irene Allen

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I wanted to make a correction by clearing up a typo in one of my last comments. "No 'one' ministry or 'one pastor' is called to do all the work of the ministry".. Which by the way, I know every pastor here knows this..

Don Jones

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Bill, if the article were saying we need a more participatory service I agree. That is not what many of us have taken from this and there would have been a much better way to say that. If it would have said something to the effect of continue preaching but work on making the service more participatory more of us would have been in agreement. So it is certainly vague (your words) or poorly written. Thanks for being an apologist for the article. I need to get back to preparing to feed the flock of God of whom I have been called to be an undershepherd and will have to give an account of how I have done with His sheep. I think we are getting close to wrangling about words (2 Tim. 2:14). Peace out as they say.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Don, "if the article were saying we need a more participatory service I agree." That is what the article is saying. Again, a direct quote from the article: "something interactive, and engaging, and empowering, where God?s people are invited to contribute and participate." This is not wrangling words, these are direct quotes. You are agreeing with what the article is saying. "That is not what many of us have taken from this." Fine, but that is a problem from both sides, that of the writer and that of the reader. The author clarified her intention in the comments section: "I don't wish to advocate the end of preaching," clearly proving that everyone, including yourself, who has charged them with such an intention is mistaken. Like I said, I agree that the article was vague and ambiguous. But that is because the article, by itself, was only one part of their argument, and was originally intended for a different audience. One of the authors took the time and the responsibility to come on here and clarify the article for our context. Now, it's up to the readers themselves to decide whether they will continue to misunderstand. Except that this time any continued misunderstanding is the sole responsibility of the reader. The ambiguity of the article is no longer an excuse. "Thanks for being an apologist for the article." I am not an apologist for the article. I'm just a guy who has been teaching English Literature to high school seniors for over twenty years, and it drives me crazy to see grown men, with higher education presumably, with such a vested interest in proving themselves right at all possible costs, that they continue to misinterpret someone's writing even after the writer herself demonstrates that the reader misunderstood. I've had seventeen and eighteen-year olds get Shakespeare faster than some on here are getting the point of this article! Anyway, I do wish you the best in your ministry. May God's blessings go with you!

Alan Montgomery Hutchens

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Where do I begin? I'll be succinct. First, we already have this type of "congregant-centered" ministry in many of our churches. It is called "Sunday school." And, dear Sunday school has quickly degenerated since we adapted the talk-show discussion method to Sunday school. Mike Ingo is correct when he implies that it is terribly unwise to turn the discussion of doctrine (or, even of various Bible verses) over to people who are not grounded in the Word. It is both dangerous and quite silly. Let the one who is taught in the Word communicate it. Hey! That sounds like Scripture! Second, God has ordained both the message AND the method. The preaching of the Word saves. It also sanctifies and edifies. Third, with all love and respect to her, Kathleen has illustrated by this very article exactly why men should handle these matters in the church. This sounds like more post-modern and New Age-oriented foolishness, to me.

Bill Williams

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Alan, "it is terribly unwise to turn the discussion of doctrine (or, even of various Bible verses) over to people who are not grounded in the Word." And whose responsibility is it to equip the people to be grounded in the Word? Is this not the calling of the PASTOR? Is this not YOUR calling, Alan?? I have brought up this point several times on here already, and I have to say I am deeply saddened and disappointed that no one has responded yet. Is there not even ONE pastor here with the integrity to acknowledge that if the majority of the people in your congregation are not grounded in the Word and thus are not able to contribute meaningfully in the corporate worship experience, that a great part of the blame for the situation lies at YOUR feet? "Let the one who is taught in the Word communicate it. Hey! That sounds like Scripture!" Do you now what also sounds like Scripture? 1 Corinthians 14:26, "What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up." Alan, I'm begging, can you, or any other pastor on her, PLEASE stop ignoring that text, stop pretending it doesn't exist, and simply explain to me what you think that text means, and why you believe Sunday morning, or Sunday evening, or Wednesday evening, or any other gathering is an exception to "when you come together"???

Steve Darnall

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I work at a secular University that has been moving from the "Sage on stage" to "guide on the side" and "directed interaction" for the past 25 years. They teach very complicated content and these methods have been proven to be much more effective in getting people beyond wrote memorization and mere head knowledge to synthesis and application of what is being taught. Is the goal in teaching Ephesians people having nice outlines and a contentedness that they now have Ephesians all lined out? Or is our goal to create a thirst for them to dig in for themselves. It has been frustrating to see the world employ methods closer to those of Jesus than what traditional churches employ - but then the new measurable objectives/analytics are forcing many institutions to take a "prove effectiveness or leave" stance towards instructors which is pushing change. Sometimes the goal of a specific Bible teaching sessions is to leave the participants with questions for them to seek God to answer through study and meditation of Scripture, rather than answers. I had to give up the type of speaking I used to enjoy (ego liked the challenge of getting people to hang on every word). But I will not go back as it has lead more to understand the difference between mere memorization and really knowing somethings by heart. It has been much more fulfilling in seeing the bigger change in the lives of those I teach.

Kevin-Neil Ward

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I'd like to thank everyone for their comments. As Kathleen has already stated, the title was changed by Sermon Central. This blog was never about degrading the person of position of the preacher. Pastors are wonderful people and I appreciate their commitment to helping God's people to learn, and to grow, and to change the world. The focus of our blog is equipping and empowering God's people to all be involved in ministry. It comes out of the past 20 years of church-based ministry, including six years where I was the senior pastor of a local church. I know what it feels like to be expected to turn up each week with a profound sermon that enables the Holy Spirit to speak to everyone. I understand the pressure to perform a function for a passive audience, and the frustration of not seeing them grow or change as much as I expect them to from my teaching. Since that time, I have seen the power of giving them a voice and encouraging them to use it. I have seen the power of engaging people in their own learning. I am seeing people from all walks of life (drug addicts, prostitutes, homeless, convicted criminals, as well as affluent businessmen and women) explore the Scriptures in community, become disciples, chose Christ as Lord and grow in Him. It would be an understatement to say that I believe dialogue is a more powerful way to learn than monologue - and one that fits with biblical models and principles. I appreciate your dialogue/discussion and your effort to consider a new mindset for the way we do church.

Andrew Shields

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Vincent in comment 83 said everyone wants to be the Pastor. I agree wiyh this point but would add that no one wants to be pastored. The article talked about performance and after reading almost all of the posts i didn't see anyone mention that taking 20 minutes of an hour service to preach by a called pastor, who is called to preach to that particular congregation is s performance model. Especially if an alternative is just to give more time to other parts of the worship service. I have been called to share the Word 90 of weeks and I spend time every week faciltating ways that our church can, and must together fulfill the paticular vision God has given us. The author on comment 110 gave some good clarification especially with the title. "Quit preaching" are not his/her words. I think sermon central could apologize to the authors for this. I still find plenty with this article especially the false contast between preach and facilitate.

Andrew Shields

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Even though I am called to be a minister and pastor I love to listen and facilitate but speaking the Word is my role. Again it would be easier to not preach, especially being such an introvert but how can I not preach the cross to a lost world who is full of people who will tell them they are just fine.

Gavin Lightfoot

commented on Jun 14, 2013

I found the article both interesting and insightful. What really amazes me though are the egotistic comments and general vitriol against a pair of genuine people who have taken the time to share their views. Shame on you. Many of you have chosen to attack without taking the time to research them or their views or it seems to actually take the time to sit and ponder that there may just be something here... Men and women of God? Bah

Andrew Shields

commented on Jun 14, 2013

Even though I am called to be a minister and pastor I love to listen and facilitate but speaking the Word is my role. Again it would be easier to not preach, especially being such an introvert but how can I not preach the cross to a lost world who is full of people who will tell them they are just fine.

Dennis Cocks

commented on Jun 14, 2013

@Bill you say, "Alan, I'm begging, can you, or any other pastor on her, PLEASE stop ignoring that text, stop pretending it doesn't exist, and simply explain to me what you think that text means, and why you believe Sunday morning, or Sunday evening, or Wednesday evening, or any other gathering is an exception to "when you come together"???" Because Bill, not everyone is CALLED to PREACH! Just as not everyone can sing a special (Hymn), or even if they are grounded in the Word are not good at teaching it, (Doctrine)! There are a few men who preach on occasion in the church I pastor. There are those who lead the singing and the WHOLE congregation is encouraged to participate regardless of their "talent" or lack thereof. People share burdens during prayer time, testimonies of how God is working in their lives, people are called on to lead us to the throne in prayer, others serve by taking the offering, teaching children's church or Sunday school, and on and on. So people have every opportunity to serve and use their gifts, just as 1 Cor. 14:26 says. BUT NOT EVERYONE HAS THE SAME GIFTS! Which is also what Eph. 4:11 is saying. And when it comes to the time when we open God's Word to hear what HE has to say, HE SPEAKS, WE LISTEN!!!! That is what is know as BIBLICAL PREACHING as I have pointed out before. MY GOODNESS! Why is that such an affront to your thinking? Do you or the authors really believe that having people interupt the sermon to ask a question (which by the way, may have NOTHING to do with the sermon) is a good thing?! You can get off on rabbit trails real easy, others may be distracted by the interuption and not get the focus back on the preaching, an unsaved person may have a doubt planted in his head by the interaction and thus leave still unsaved! If someone has a question about what I preach, they know to come to me AFTER the sermon and ask it. And if it need be, to schedule a time to sit down together and "facilitate." Now, I believe I have "stopped ignoring that text." Now will you stop ignoring the BIBLICAL definition of PREACHING! BTW, I know you know this but others might not. The caps I use are not yelling, they are the the only way to put emphesis on something.

Jack Cheung

commented on Jun 15, 2013

I agree preaching is monologue physically. But good preaching always includes talking, listening and responding, even physically the preacher is only talking. People sometimes sleep because they're tired, or because the preacher is talking to the air, who couldn't listen and connect to people. One important gift of preaching is the ability to listen to the responses in the thought of the audiences during the preparation of sermon, when preaching and after the preaching. See the eyes of the people or ask them and you will know whether you have the gift. Can you imagine if a preacher doesn?t have it and keep on preaching every week!

Anonymous

commented on Jun 15, 2013

I appreciate the topic of discussion and the authors genuineness. Both facilitation and preaching should have their proper place in the entire church life to see people transformed by the church experience. The problem is the consumer mentality of doing church as convenient rather than as life. Preach on certain days,facilitate on the same subject on others. Sunday school,bible classes, discipleship lessons, small groups meeting all of them give us the opportunities to explore all the possible means of engaging the people of God in the word in such personal manner that facilitating does while preaching continues to take its exalted place just as Pa would say it and no matter the problem we may have with preaching, it's God's means of speaking to us if you take it as the Bible describes it. So what we need to QUIT is taking God into the camp, or making preachers according to the people...If we must find God,we must take the pains always to go to Him outside the camp. We should stop making God in our own images but conform ourselves to His. You cannot not have three services in a week and preach through them all,facilitate in some and preach in some. But if all you have is a convenient once for all Sunday morning service,poor you...you can only do one. Let us get back to church daily or at least church more frequently. The prayer meetings are the best places to transform lives and change cities. Too little services to allow the full expression of the Gospel. That's what to quit.

Vincent Aja

commented on Jun 15, 2013

We may not have understood the mind of the writer: in my first contribution I have said that everybody wants to be a pastor. But here again I may be considering since I may not know what the writer has in his mind like I have said before. Ministry today has been FILLED WITH MOTIVATIONAL and GUEST SPEAKERS. If someone understands PREACHING in this way where people are paid to speak on engagements, then the guest speaker has every reason to share his time of speaking with his guests. But if not that 30 to 45 minutes which people are even considering to be too much for the pastor may not be enough.... We have changed a lot of things in the ministry, but if we should look at the ministry of the Lord Jesus we will see that it was designed in this form. And that His ministry was very effective because there was that time to TEACH the people, and that time to PREACH to the people, and that time to HEAL the people. And Jesus went about all Galilee, TEACHING in their synagogues, and PREACHING the gospel of the kingdom, and HEALING all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people (Mathew 4:23, 9:35). A pastor`s duty is to have time to teach the people, so when he comes to preach everybody will listen and makes notes, and if there is anything that somebody does not understand then the person may bring it back to the pastor or even to any leader of his or her choice.

Jonathan Hutton

commented on Jun 15, 2013

What do we see in Scripture? Here is one study that looked at 63 recorded teaching events of Jesus, and found: 7 are unclear as to being either interactive or non-interactive. 10 are non-interactive. 37 teaching events were initiated by others. 31 teaching events had verbal dialogue. 25 teaching events were also action events. The study continues with teaching events in the book of Acts. It seem the majority of teaching and preaching in the New Testament had some level of interaction with the learners. http://www.anabaptistnetwork.com/book/export/html/321

Charles Ingwe

commented on Jun 15, 2013

In leaving this page, I wish to thank you bill for having looked at my error of calling as fact what was my interpretation of the author's contribution. I shall endeavor to ensure that fact is what is stated in white and black. However Bill, I only wish to ask those interested to again look carefully at the quoted 1 Cor 14:26. Reading through the whole context of this matter, it is evident that the inspired author had encountered confusion in the way service was being conducted. It was participatory in confusion. Now if participation is what we are trying to encourage, it is imperartive that we try to see why Paul, mentions Hymn, lesson, tongue, revelation, interpretation; is this not a service order we have always had? Was it not only that there was maybe four with a song to sing and all wanting to go first, or four with a message believed given by the Lord but all wanting to go first, or four with a prophetic revelation and all wanting to go first etc? I do not see this text as saying all shall be equiped to preach but that giftings shall be given the right order in service. Those with the gift to teach must wait for the right time, singing right time, prophecy right time etc. It is not showing participation in bible sharing { not saying it is wrong, but looking at this text }, it is looking at the operation of giftings in our service. So the question of how to equip saints will vary from church to church with on particular imposition. Facilitaion to some will work well in cell groupings whilst to some in church settings. In our case it works well in cell set up. It is no replacement of pulpit preaching.

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