Did you know that the New Testament never refers to church lectures or discipleship edification as “preaching”? Whenever Greek words like kerusso and euaggelizo are used they refer to proclaiming the Gospel to non-Christians in a public or non-Christian environment, like a synagogue or a public square. Christian edification is referred to as “teaching” or “dialoguing with”.
I talked about this in my latest contribution to the MennoNerd vlog. The implications of this simple fact are massive. Firstly, we have to admit that most preachers, pastors and priests hardly preach the Gospel at all, biblically speaking, since public evangelism is extremely rare these days. They teach a lot, but they don’t preach – they just call their lectures “sermons” without actually preaching.
Secondly, this means that Biblical discipleship edification was much less of a monologue and more of a dialogue in small home groups. This is how you learn stuff. Just look at the education system; good schools know that you need smaller groups and lots of dialogue and student participation if you want people to actually learn stuff. Proclamation is better suited for evangelism, when many need to hear about how to be saved and when the message is more simple and straight-forward.
Preaching to the already saved is, according to the Bible, not how we should do church.