The point I try to make about sermons is that they are like nitrogen in lawn fertilizer. I might broaden “sermon” to involve any kind of proclamation to a group of people but you probably get my point. Nitrogen is an essential element in fertilizer but if you use too much in the wrong proportions it will kill your lawn. I’m no more opposed to sermons in church than I am to nitrogen in fertilizer.
The church today is like a homeowner with a bunch of dead grass that keeps pouring nitrogen on it expecting it to grow. We keep filling peoples minds with knowledge assuming that growth will come but we see just the opposite.
Maybe, just maybe we need to back off on some central assumptions on things and rethink our strategy. You can’t make a lawn grow just like you can’t make people grow. But there are sure fire ways you can kill the process. I don’t think it is wise to rest content with the lack of visible life transformation in the church because growth is God’s job. If most of the church is dead it probably isn’t because God isn’t doing his part. We have to consider that we may just be aborting the growth process.
In general, I think we rely too much on one event that includes preaching. For many people this one event is church. We may need to move beyond church services, as I wrote a few months back.
Effective preaching should point to what else is needed in order for growth to happen.