Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Directions in Preaching (5)

I am traveling today to deliver these lectures tomorrow. Much refining is still necessary! The last important section concerns the WHICH of preaching. Which direction and which types?

Here we go straight back to the foundational texts of Eph 4 and 1 Pet 2 that I mentioned earlier. In order for people to move from an individualistic focus into God's community life, preachers need to take responsibility for intentionally preaching a whole range of possibilities.

Of course there is evangelistic preaching that seeks faith-response. (Some suggest today that this has become leaden and predictable in too many places). Alongside gospel good news, however, there is also doctrinal preaching that encourages new believers to recognize the new language and new way of thinking that is belonging together in Christ. Further, celebratory preaching stresses the great joy of partaking in Christ's creation.

I want to add liturgical preaching, because whatever kind of worshipping community it really matters that people understand what baptism, the Lord's Supper, and every other part of gathered worship means. Salvation history preaching emphasizes how Christian communities belong within God's big story, helping us treasure the past and anticipate the future.

However, Christian communities cannot form without pastoral preaching that deals with real life issues within communities, so that they grow in responsibility to support and care not only its own members but those outside. Continuously, Leadership through preaching stresses how significant preachers are in ensuring hearers grow in God's will and purpose.

Some of this can be summed up in missional preaching which dares to take 1 Pet 2 and sound out its mandate for the church in today's culture. Indeed, this may involve prophetic preaching that confronts culture where necessary.

This is a rich range of preaching possibilities. I look forward to hearing from the conference attendees how they respond. I shall let you know!

No comments: