Showing posts with label relevance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label relevance. Show all posts

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Preaching - Whose needs are being met?

I enjoyed a short piece on the America Magazine blog entitled, "Preaching and feedback."

As I listen to sermons, the two big questions that ring in my head as I am feeling bored, annoyed, and having to strain to follow the thread of the sermon are:

Why is the preacher telling us this?


Why did the preacher pick this topic to preach on? Is it something of  interest to the preacher or does the preacher, for some reason, think that the congregation needs to hear this?

For the life of me, with many of the sermons I have heard in my lifetime, I have no clues on how to answer these two questions.

It would be nice if preachers maybe met with the pulpit committee and negotiated some themes over the the coming church year. It also would be nice if there were powerful enough sermons that they led to some spirited discussions and feedback on the topic.

I have no experience of this happening in my church except very rarely.

If you would like to read the short essay in America Magazine click here.

Having said all this, I have pretty much stopped going to church.

 Church attendance in all mainline churches in the United States and first world countries is rapidly dropping. Apparently, what churches are offering their communities is no longer relevant enough or compelling enough to motivate attendance.

Apparently, I am not alone in my absence. Football, and shopping seem to be much more popular or perhaps just sleeping in. When you can get 80,000 people in a football stadium and millions more on TV, but you're lucky if you can get 80 people in a church on Sunday, something is seriously amiss with religion in America.

The absence is not about a lack of entertainment, but a lack of meaning. If I am going to make the effort to drive 22 miles on a Sunday morning and sit in a large space for 60 + minutes, it has to be worth the time, effort, and expense. For me and increasing numbers of other people, it is not. People vote with their feet.

So, it is unclear who the preachers think they are talking to, and why they are preaching what they are preaching. The sermons seem unrelated to spiritual struggles of the audience and without relevance they will continue to preach to empty pews. When the church becomes irrelevant to life in society, it loses its function and will die. We are witnessing its slow death and in another twenty years, unless there is a significant revival, most mainline churches, like many species will be extinct.

Who are the Bills playing this week?
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