Jim Collins made the term "The Genius of the and" famous. His idea was that instead of thinking in either/ or terms, think in terms of both/ and.
I believe this is especially true in preaching. Too often, churches get caught in the trap of thinking either/ or; attractional or missional; discipleship or evangelism. I believe church can AND should be doing both at the same time.
At Calvary, we are deeply committed to teaching through books of the Bible. While we will do topical series at times, most of the time we're teaching through books of the Bible.
So if you want to both disciple and do evangelism from the pulpit on Sunday, here's what I suggest you do:
#1 – Define the terms - Ed Stetzer says, "If people can order at Starbuck's, they can learn theological terms." I believe we should use theological terms when we teach. However, I believe we have to define them every time. In doing so, we are training our congregation and educating those who are unaware of these terms.
#2 – Connect doctrine with everyday life – Doctrine simply means "teaching". Our job as communicators is to connect theology with real life. If you can't explain how our theology connects to how we should, you aren't ready to teach on the subject.
#3 – You never grow beyond the Gospel – Some think that the Gospel is simply for those who don't know Jesus. That's a very small view of the Gospel. The Gospel saves us from hell, but it also connects to every aspect of what it means to follow Jesus. I am indebted to Dr. Tim Keller and Pastor Jon Courson, who I believe are the Obi-Wan Kenobis of connecting the Gospel to every area of life. They makes Jesus the hero of every message they preach because the answer in our preaching should be the Gospel.
There's a reason churches have a revolving door of people coming through the front door and leaving out the back: their sole focus is reaching people at the expense of discipling them.
For the record: I am 100% sold out on reaching people. I lead a 6 month coaching network exclusively based on reaching people.
But we are doing people a disservice if we reach them and simply give them the "You should feed yourself" speech. That's a copout answer and doesn't reflect the heart of a Pastor.
More on this tomorrow…