youth ministry, youth worker, church

Has Preaching Hurt the Church?

By Doug Franklin May 25, 2010

A few weeks ago the pastor at my church gave this illustration for the importance of God’s word. In the Jewish synagogue around Jesus’ time, the rabbi would read from God’s word for roughly forty minutes and preach sermons for two minutes. Note when Jesus came to Nazareth in Luke 4:16-22. Jesus reads from the Old Testament and then gave a minute long sermon. Today it’s almost the opposite, we read scripture for two minutes and give forty minute sermons. This got me thinking about the impact Sunday sermons have had on the church. Many Christians live out their faith by going to a church service on Sunday. They judge the effectiveness of the service by how good the sermon was and if it touched them in any way. Pastors are hired by how well they preach and church super-stars are made through dynamic speaking, leading many people to focus on the preacher not the message. Some pastors are only given the job of preaching; all other duties are handled by associate pastors because the sermon is so important. This has all led many people to believe that the center of our christian faith is the Sunday morning service and specifically the sermon which is given. Now we may not like to admit this but look at our actions: is the most focused spiritual time of your week the Sunday morning sermon? It’s interesting to look at scripture and try and determine how much time Jesus spent in synagogues and how much time he spent hanging out with hurting people. What would it look like if we were to stop preaching and start serving? I know, it’s crazy.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More