Saturday, July 30, 2011

Preaching is Critical in Reaching the Unchurched

Thom Rainer's research uncovered that the most critical factor in reaching the unchurched is preaching.

The preaching is heavily expository (a verse-by-verse explanation of the Biblical text); by way of comparison, narrative preaching is the least used style by these pastors.

The preaching does not shy away from deep, difficult, or controversial topics.

The pastor of churches reaching the unchurched spend about 22 hours per week on the sermon.

The pastors of churches that re reaching the unchurched place preaching as their most important task. By comparison, pastors not reaching the unchurched place pastoral care as their most important task. I think I read somewhere that among UM clergy, Will Willimon and Henri Nouwen are the most widely-read authors. Great guys, and Nouwen is definitely one to emulate... but where is the passion for reaching those who don't know Jesus, who have stepped away from church, who need to hear the Gospel?


  1. Shows a definite difference between the role of an apostle/prophet/evangelist, and that of an elder/priest/pastor. The apostle plants the seed, the elder waters it. So is the Methodist elder a pastoral care-giver, or an evangelist? Or are we asking them to be both?

    I'd love to go back to having itinerant (by the old definition of "itinerant") and local pastors.

  2. There is no doubt we ask too much of pastors. On the one hand, an effective evangelist may not always seem like a deft caregiver, and a strong "pastor" may not find the time or the liking of rounding up the lost