Over the last couple of weeks I have spoken about worship. I plan to continue this week, but by thinking about the role of preaching in congregant worship. Remember for our purposes I have defined worship is the expression of our relationship with God.
If you have read my two previous posts, you know I am cautious about calling the music in the service, worship. This caution is partially motivated by the fear of people calling sermons discipleship as opposed to worship. I fear this transition because it empowers the minimalist commitment of today’s Christianity. In other words by thinking this way the believer thinks they get both worship and teaching in the service and therefore don’t need to attend a Bible study.
The other side of this issue is that teaching sermons is only one type of preaching. I almost hate to bring it up, because I am as much a product of the age as everyone else. What I mean by this is, my own preaching is almost entirely instructional. Yet, if you look at sermons through history, those messages that history recorded were largely exhortational rather than instructional. If you look at the practice in Scripture, confrontational preaching is the most common. By this term, I mean a sermon which confronts the failings of the people and calls them to repentance or commitment.
These forms of preaching are largely missing in today’s churches. But find the church which still holds the occasional revival, find the pulpit willing to bring in an evangelist, and you will hear a sermon of a whole different type. And chances are good, the church will not be practicing minimalists Christianity.