To Whom Do We Preach?

A number of people have been writing about who our target audience is on Sundays. I wonder if this would even be a discussion before the advent of evangelistic services and the alleged "seeker-sensitive" movement. Milton Stanley has documented a couple of these discussions.

I look at Sunday as a gathering of the Family, and in that time Family business needs to be cared for. While always open to guests, it seems that the primary teaching time that the church has available has to focus primarily on those in the Family.

The pastoral mandate involves feeding the flock, shepherding the sheep, building the saints. If Sundays are sacrificed to another purpose, we've lost our best shot. I wonder if Paul's words in 1 Cor. 14:20-25 help us here. It seems that in Paul's thinking, the gathering of the church was for the church, but that in the process of being the church those who were not converted could be reached.

This may be simplistic in our day, but my contention is that if we preach God's Word faithfully and point to Christ, the Gospel will reach both saved and lost.


Aaron said...

I'm with you, Peter. Occasionally, churches can't go wrong to schedule services aimed primarily at seekers, but the bread and butter of a pastor's preaching should, I believe, be aimed primarily at the regular congregation.

But the beauty of it is that whether someone is a believer or not, he needs to hear about Christ. So, like you said, if we preach the gospel faithfully, God will apply it to the needs of those who hear as he wills.

John said...

Good post Peter!

I think that those who discuss this subject miss one very important point and that is, the unbeliever comes to the church seeking something spiritual and usually finds it.

They are not interested what the subject being preached is, other than, does it help me?

I have heard numerous testimonies during my short time in ministry (25yrs) of unbelievers being saved during a Tithing Sermon, even heard a few who got saved during the Children's talk!

The point I am making is that it doesn't matter what we preach, if a person has been prompted by the Holy Spirit, they will make a decision anyway, whatever the preaching!


Milton Stanley said...

Good word, Peter. I'm linking to your post tonight. Peace.