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



Chandler and Furtick engage in a healthy debate about the focus of preaching today.

What do you think? Should preaching focus more on evangelism/growth or deepening the spiritual formation of attenders? 

This video is an excerpt from the Elephant Room series. Visit the Elephant Room site to purchase the complete DVD. 

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. The church has been listed by Outreach Magazine as one of the fastest growing and largest churches in America. 

Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the ChatterboxGreater, and Sun Stand Still.

Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Keith B

commented on Dec 22, 2011

The church is for the sheep to gather and worship God. The pastor is there to feed the sheep. Read the letters of Paul. Read Jesus' charge to Peter to "feed my sheep". If a non-believer wanders in, he/she should be welcomed...but that isn't the focus.

David Nuhfer

commented on Dec 22, 2011

The church isn't "for the sheep to gather and worship God." It is the "sheep" who are called to "go into the world" and "make disciples." You can't have spiritual formation without evangelism. There is a place for both in the church and we need to be focused on doing both. I have never believed that a non-believer just "wanders in." It is the result of the prompting of God on their heart and the work of God's people in doing the inviting and welcoming.

Jim Dixon

commented on Dec 22, 2011

There always seems to be this struggle between evangelism and discipleship. Those who say church is for discipleship are forgetting the Great Commission says to "Go." Those who focus on the "Go" miss the point about making disciples. Churches that focus only on discipleship proably don't see many salvations. Churches that focus on evangelism probably don't see much maturing. I agree with Furtick...if all a person wants is to be fed, they don't grow stronger, they only grow fatter.

Carl Shank

commented on Dec 22, 2011

Trying to have this discussion evades the theological question of for whom is the gathered church meant? If we answer with only a practical discussion of how to reach who and where we miss the biblical-theological point. It's not a balancing act between "evangelism" and "discipleship." Discipleship is the thrust of the Great Commission, and evangelism isn't done until discipleship is engaged. This is where many seeker-churches have failed, I believe. And, many discipleship-oriented churches have failed to practice what they preach. But let's not make "application" the deciding factor.

Trevor Payton

commented on Dec 22, 2011

David, I agree 100: The sheep are called to go and make disciples; if they just sit in the pew, they tend to start acting like goats. And for what it's worth, I cannot imagine genuine biblical discipleship which does not focus on the Go; discipleship and evangelism are inseparable. Furthering what Jim said, a bodybuilder has to eat a lot of calories...when he works out, those calories build muscle; but if he doesn't work out (ie, if the sheep just sit in the pew and stare at their navels), he gets fat. It is absolutely true that the sheep need to be fed; and it's equally true that the sheep need to evangelize and make disciples. In a worship service where God is genuinely worshiped, the sheep are fed, and the unbelievers are challenged/guided/invited into the way of Christ. The two functions can happen concurrently...but only if the glory of God is the focus.

John Yancey

commented on Dec 22, 2011

It is one-sided to think that the church gathered should not take into consideration the presence of those who don't know Christ yet. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:23 about the whole church coming together - and having outsiders or unbelievers present. What Paul is telling the Corinthians is that they should always be mindful of the presence of unbelievers. Of course we must go deeper...of course we must evangelize! When there are non-believers present, we must preach and teach accordingly.

Roderick Fitz

commented on Dec 22, 2011

This really shouldn't be considered as an argument, for both are needed to establish and encourage Christians. If there is too heavy of a discussion on who is right and wrong, we play a familiar note that Satan likes to hear.

Roderick Fitz

commented on Dec 22, 2011

This really shouldn't be considered as an argument, for both are needed to establish and encourage Christians. If there is too heavy of a discussion on who is right and wrong, we play a familiar note that Satan likes to hear.

Roderick Fitz

commented on Dec 22, 2011

This really shouldn't be considered as an argument, for both are needed to establish and encourage Christians. If there is too heavy of a discussion on who is right and wrong, we play a familiar note that Satan likes to hear.

Tim Spear

commented on Dec 22, 2011

The answer is neither and both! Preaching is to bring glory to God and thus the text dictates whether it will be for deepening the disciples or evangelism. BUT I never preach a sermon where I do not share the gospel because you never know the spiritual condition of every person there nor am I naive enough to think that every one of my church members is saved (see Parable of wheat and tares). The likelihood is that they are not so I need not worry about unbelievers "wandering in" because they are already there!

Thomas Gaskill

commented on Dec 23, 2011

"But above all things put on love." The Great Commandments consist of love for God and neighbor. Of course God's people should desire to "go deeper" in the things of God but to do so without love is vain. It is love that drives us to know God more and reach our neighbor for Christ. We are called to be ambassadors of Christ and I strongly believe this is a call to be a community of agape. What we need is a Biblical theology of love - a theology of this nature will have Christ front and center because Christ is love personified. Christ is God's love manifested in the flesh. We must pursue walking as He walked - in perfect love for God and neighbor. This is a love that seeks to know God more and pursues the Great Commission.

Sterling Franklin

commented on Dec 23, 2011

Evangelism: GO SEEK vs. COME SEE. The Word does its work regardless of philosophy, as long as Jesus is being proclaimed correctly and clearly.

Fernando Villegas

commented on Dec 24, 2011

k b, I'd just like to say I really appreciate you sharing your views without any demeaning personal remarks about Mr. Furtick. Although some people have made it clear to me that my opinions and my theology are not welcome here, I thought that given our history, it would be appropriate for me to mention at least that.

Matt Krachunis

commented on Dec 27, 2011

how can I audition to be on the video? Looks fun!

Brant Menswar

commented on Jan 30, 2012

Regardless of your opinion of the video, this is healthy for the body of Christ! Glad to see guys sitting and having healthy adult to adult discussion!

Join the discussion