Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Discipleship at the core ... of preaching?

We're nudging towards half-way through 2016, during which the banner over nearly all our WEBA-wide gatherings and events is 'discipleship at the core'. I'm convinced it's the issue, right now (probably always has been!). I go along with Mike Breen who says, if we're to ever get towards anything resembling missional movement, then discipleship is the engine, which will get us moving and enable us to get where we want to go.
The biggest hurdle I'm encountering, is along with using the 'mission', or 'missional' words, people respond with the assumption 'isn't everything we do about discipleship'? 
This may, or may not, lead us into a constructive conversation, but my sense is (generally speaking, all readers here excepted!) we are very reluctant to explore what the impact of all we do actually is (as Ministers and key leaders). Sadly, but not always, this conversation revolves around the main Sunday worship service. Even so, this remains the single greatest opportunity to really gain some traction in mobilising the people of God to go into the mission of God  'wherever He intends to go'. 
In the light of this I also found the results of this survey very interesting:

44% of believers (49% of men and 39% of women) said "biblical exposition" was the most important thing in a sermon, compared to 2% who said a "sense of humour" was important.
The poll also found 40% of Christians (44% of women and 36% of men) found practical examples of how to live out the Bible's teachings was the most important part of a sermon, compared to just one percent who said personal anecdotes or stories were important.
If our Ministers are saying they believe discipleship actually is at the core of their preaching and Sunday services, then maybe we need to look at these survey results and hear what the people listening are saying more carefully.

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