Todd makes this comment, “Over the years, most churches have changed everything about their services (in an effort to reach the culture) except their sermon length. My question is... where else in our culture do we ask people to sit and listen to a speaker for 45 minutes? I really can't think of one. And I do agree with Craig: many speakers look at how much time they have to fill rather than how much content they have to deliver. That, in and of itself, does not make for a culturally relevant presentation, does it”
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So the question begs an answer.
I often hear “We want to be a New Testament Acts church.” That is a great objective. Let us ask Peter or Paul, or Stephen, or the other preachers, “Men, how long did you preach to the crowd before you?”
Do you think Paul or Peter would address the question: “We always view the audiences’ mindset and see if there is a need to tone down the message, we want to be culturally relevant?”
I believe we mistake the outline sermons we read in Acts to mean that Peter on the day of Pentecost only preached for 29 minutes. I think we believe that Christ in His Sermon on the Mount only preached in 29 minutes segments. I think some believe Christ crafted His sermons to be culturally sensitive.
Paul or Peter, “Did you use overhead screens, and a good power point presentation in the delivery of any of your sermons?” “Peter”, you might ask him, “How was the setting and lighting in the places you taught?” I don’t think many of their sermons were well received by the unchurched folks. I think they should have revised their methodology in preaching; maybe they could have stayed out of jail more.
So you might now say, “Maybe we need to have a 21st century kind of church, rather than an Acts kind of church.” Do we then change the message? Do we change the places we teach and preach? Do we craft a better presentation? Maybe we need to take a survey of what the people want.
Are we given a clear mandate in Scripture as to how we are to Worship and Preach and Teach?
- What was Paul’s motive.
- What was Christ’s objective in his teaching:
- What was Peter and the apostles’ motivational mindset in doing the ministry that was given to them by the Lord Jesus Christ?