Summary: How to Contextualize Your Preaching and Teaching

How to Contextualize Your Preaching and Teaching

CONTEXTUALIZATION OF PREACHING- Preaching with contextualization requires one to understand his audiences’ world view. Preachers cannot expect people to adopt their world view automatically. Most people move from what they know to what they need to know. Preachers can adjust their messages to adopt the world view of their audiences for a time to help in contextualizing the message. Paul and Peter adapted their message to the world view of their respondents (Acts 2:14-36) and (Acts 17:22-31). Why not us?


5. How Do You Behave?

4. What Do You Value?

3. What Do You


2. What is True?

1. What is Real?

Allegiances and



If people believe that angry ancestors, witchcraft, or sorcery caused their problems, this indicates the heart of their perspectives. To these people, spiritual causes are at the heart of all of their reality. These folks may accept the benefits of modern medicine, but at the same time they may consult the local juju priest for a special charm to protect them from their enemies. Others may insist on offering a white hen sacrifice to the local sorcerer for the safe delivery of their first baby. All of these indicate that even though they may claim to be Christians, their experiences prove what they are really thinking.

Some people may continue to attend church, but they may also offer sacrifices to the gods of farming to insure a good crop. When we are preaching for real change, we must go right to the heart of people’s views of reality. Unless people are changed from their view of reality, they are not really changed. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, ``Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things are past away, behold, all things have become new!’’

Preach for a change in commitments, convictions, and perspectives on what is real! Jesus said, ``Do not work for the food which perishes(Money, clothes, food-stuff, cars, houses, material possessions) but for the food which endures to eternal life (Heavenly rewards, Godly characteristics, Souls, etc.)


If people really believe that the Bible is true, they will change their minds, wills, and emotions to adhere to its teaching. The trouble with most people is they outwardly confess Jesus Christ as Lord, but in their homes they act as if the husband is the lord. The truth is not just what people say is true, but how they live shows how much of the truth has been incorporated into their life. Truth to one man may be his traditions, his culture, what the elders tell him. The only absolute source of truth is the scripture-God’s Holy Word. Even though many people will agree with the truth of the scriptures, they have yet to fully personalize the truth to their lives as Jesus did. ``The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.’’ (John 1:14) The challenge for a preacher is to get the truth to fill people’s view of their reality. Christ showed no contradiction between His view of truth and reality. This should be the goal for every sermon we preach.


If you ask people, ``Do you believe in God?’’Most people will answer, ``Yes!’’ However, their belief may be in many gods, spirits, or a god that is different than the God in the Bible. Some people will say, there are gods that bring trouble and other gods that bring healing. Unfortunately, some people are relying on false priests to know what they should believe. The preacher should seek to help people grow in their faith and knowledge of Christ. ``Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.’’ Some people will believe dreams, visions, and prophets when they fail to put their trust in the promises, commands, and directions from the scriptures. The Bible teaches us that ``Without faith it is impossible to please God, for He who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.’’ (Heb. 11:6) God, His creation, His will, His plan for His church, and His guidelines for the family must be believed over traditional beliefs. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for putting their trust in the traditions of men rather than in the word of God. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can men be saved from their sin, judgment, and hell fire. Belief is not just a momentary emotion, it is a moment by moment -- life long PERSUASION that acts on the confidence that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. Rom. 4:20,21 tells about a model of faith, ``Abraham staggered not in unbelief, but grew strong in faith being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform!’’

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