by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 6/13/15.
“A Church Survives Over 1 Year Without a Sermon.”
That’s a headline that a lot of church attendees might appreciate. But we know that Romans 10:14 says, “And how can they believe in the one of who they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (NIV).
But, there are many ways to share the truth without the modernist “lecture” or “sermon” as the main message carrier. Jesus used stories, personal action, social engagement, etc. In fact, while researching my book (Inside the Organic Church: Learning from 12 Emerging Congregations, Abingdon Press, 2006) I found a church named One Place in Phoenix that had utilized innovation to sustain and grow a congregation for the 1+ year they did not have a preacher … or a sermon.
If you would like to learn more you can download the chapter here (not for public distribution). And if you liked the insights, consider supporting my publisher (and me) by purchasing the book.
Here is how the chapter begins …
(Excerpted from Inside the Organic Church, copyright Bob Whitesel, used by permission)
The outcome of a year without sermons.
A contemporary church, like a contemporary translation should impress the uninitiated observer as an original production in the contemporary culture, not as a badly fitted import from somewhere else. – Charles Kraft, anthropologist and author
The preacher was nervous, for One Place Church had not had regular sermons for over a year, and this was his audition. Dressed in floppy hat, t-shirt and faded jeans, he delivered a remarkably poignant and engaging sermon, sprinkled with video clips from current movies.
As I sat in the middle of over 70 attendees, I wondered how this church had survived for
over a year without a teaching pastor, or regular sermons. “Without a teaching pastor, we had to teach the Word though mediums other than the spoken word,” stated Mark. “Interactive stations became our primary means for truth delivery.” Looking at the vibrant and enthusiastic throng, it appeared to work.
Download the chapter here: BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – ORGANIC CHURCH One Place Chpt. 8