“The growth of consumeristic culture in the West, along with pastoral ambition to appear successful, has applied market pressures to create churches perfectly designed to cater to an audience. Just as the gore of the slaughterhouse has been replaced by the polish of the plastic-wrapped packages on supermarket shelves, with neatly and finely sliced portions of tender cuts to feed the masses, so we have seen this reflected in churches, particularly in preaching. This takes the form of the short preaching series, exclusively focussed on ‘how to’ questions – easily purchased and digested by the hungry consumers. There is nothing there to really challenge the worshiper; no bones or tough cuts that need more mastication. Instead, spiritual food is doled out with step-by-step instructions, and crucially, without blood”
“The gospel’s power doesn’t need us, of course. It is power in spite of us, and the Holy Spirit relies neither on our eloquence nor our emotionality to do whatever he pleases. But because the Spirit condescends to use how we preach, we ought not forget to reflect God’s kindness when we preach it.”
As pastors, we are all taking part in a long trip with the church God entrusted into our care. This long trip is one of leading our respective churches to make disciples. Becoming effective in disciple-making is our final destination; it’s what we are all striving towards. But like using Google Maps to plan a family trip, everywhere you look for directions on how to be successful in making disciples proposes a different strategy or program you should consider. “Many of the suggested routes are proven strategies for making disciples but might not be best suited for you and your context. But while many of us search for the next tried-and-true method for reaching the lost and leading them to maturity in Christ, we might have forgotten one of the greatest disciple-making tools available to every pastor and church: preaching the Word of God!