Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Q: On the nature of sermons, churches, and our beliefs...

What do we value in our sermons?
What makes a sermon good?

What do we value in a church?
On what grounds to you "pick" a church to attend?

Along the same lines, why do we believe what we believe?

I want to take some responses before I post my own response. So, please leave a response!

2 comments:

David said...

Jeff,

I'm not sure if you want these in line item form or not. But I wanted to share some of my thoughts.

1. What I value in a sermon is that it's relavant to what people are struggling with. I read somewhere that if you want to know what to talk about, you should have the people in your church write out their prayer requests on a piece of paper and begin readign throught those.

2. A good sermon is hard to define. Most of the time for me it's something that strikes a chord with me. I also really like sermons that talk about tough issues that aren't normally addressed in church.

Misc. - I have also been reading alot about what we do as a church in general, and one author I have read states that the 'weekend gathering' should be one of the lower focused events, but instead we should focus more on the smaller community building events that occur outside of them. Most people when they share about their testimony will site what individuals have said or done as opposed to a sermon they heard.

3. If you are asking personally what we (I) value in a church I would say community. My belief is that a church needs to funcion more like they did in Acts 2 than they do today. However, if we is the (church) then the values are going to vary greatly. However, all churches should have one value that stands above all others, and that's to make disciples.

4. When picking a church, I think one needs to align themselves with a church that has similar values to the individual. I believe this will let people be most effective in their personal ministries if the church can encourage their natural response. For example. I stated above that I value community, a church with a strong value for community makes a good fit for me.

5. I think our beliefs are a culmination of experiences and relationships. Most of the times that my beliefs are challenged come from either events that happen in my life, or from discussions with friends.

These aren't too theological, but just my thoughts. Now I should get back to work.

Later,

David

-jhp- said...

David,
Thank you for taking the time to respond in such detail! I want to apologize up front that I won't answer in the same level of detail.

Each of my questions were intended to touch on the same issue. My main point that I wanted to get across was to consider what is the fundamental quality that moves us.

Simply stated: what is fundamental to us? Truth or Taste? Is our definition of good sermons and good churches based in how well they represent the eternal truths of God? Or do we call them good because they make us feel good or they inspire us, etc.?

Don't mistake me here; I'm not saying that Truth and Taste are mutually exclusive. I'm just concerned that most people elevate taste over truth without contemplating it. My goal is to put truth first, and then let taste follow.