Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Question about Preaching Ratio

Disclaimer: I'm currently a bit confused about the difference between preaching and teaching. Is teaching done brother to brother, and preaching done to those still outside the faith? Or is preaching done by some and teaching done by others? Or is preaching a one way discourse, and teaching can be more of a discussion? I'm not sure. I think we all need to be proclaiming the good news of Jesus to the world. Anyways...

That aside, here is my question.

Is the mega-church trend having a positive or negative impact on teaching/preaching?

As the gatherings grow we need fewer people preaching. If the gathering has 50 members, the ratio of people using their preaching/teaching gifts to those listening is at least 1:50. I would hope higher.

With a gathering of 200, we can go as low as 1:200.

With a gathering of 10,000 it can go as low as 1:10,000.

I understand there are 50 gatherings in the USA with attendance between 10,000 and 47,000. These gatherings typically have one main preacher/teacher. Many of them have their sermons broadcast to multiple satellite locations.

If we as the church want to encourage each other and allow their giftings to grow.... is it better to have a few big gatherings or many smaller gatherings? Do we want a few great preachers/teachers, or a multitude of more ordinary preachers/teachers?

What do you think?

2 comments:

steve janz said...

Just a couple thoughts on this topic Jon.

Firstly, I think that preaching can and most often does involve some teaching. I also think that teaching, generally anyway, has a different flavor or intensity to that of heralding or proclaiming that's done through preaching.

Secondly, we as followers of Christ we should all preach/proclaim the gospel regularly. I see a bit of a distinction with this though, in a similar way that I see a distinction with other "spiritual gifts" like hospitality or faith or exhortation or giving or helps... all though every follower of Christ should be involved in these things to some degree or another, there are those who have been given the "spiritual gift" in these areas and will most certainly take these activities to a different level then the ones who aren't gifted. So although every follower of Christ should be a '"preacher", not every follower of Christ will have the gift of preaching and so where and how the preaching takes place will most certain look different between the one who has the gift of preaching and the one who doesn't. I think the challenge for any church community is to discern who the ones are that have the gift of preaching and then fuel and develop that mentality and practice in the context of the church. I have a few other thoughts on this, but for now, I'll leave it at these 2.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Steve for sharing those thoughts. I'm in agreement.

As you know I've been thinking about the gathering of the early church. As they met in homes the ratio of those preaching/teaching/prophesying to those listening must have been higher than what we typically see in the larger gatherings of the church today.

I grew up going to gatherings of around 100, and at one place closer to 25. In the group of 25 there were still a few people with an adequate gift of teaching/preaching. My experience in small groups/community groups is similar.

So I'm just wondering how many people would have a gift of preaching/teaching in a gathering of 200, 1000, or 10000 or more. Are we OK with how these members are being encouraged to exercise their gifts when they gathering?

God bless.