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Preaching.jpgIn a post last month I raised the issue of Third Way preaching, and this is what I said:

A genuine Third Way will get beyond the Sunday morning sermon as the primary form of spiritual formation and education in a local church, and neither Belcher nor Pagitt seem to approach preaching through the lens of a larger formational program with clearly defined outcomes. A genuine Third Way will form a well-rounded and adaptable formation program that guides all sermons, all teaching, and all activities in the church. Sermons will be seen as one part of the formational ministry of the church. In other words, Third Way preaching is rooted in the overall outcomes of the church.


I’d like to address this issue this month in a weekly series of outcome-based preaching. Today’s post addresses the big idea of outcome based education and how it can impact churches.

The focus shifts from what the pastor-teacher knows and what the pastor-teacher says and how the pastor-teacher performs and that the pastor-teacher informs the congregation to each person in the congregation being a learner whom the pastor is equipping for learning and living.

Let me make a point very clear: Third Way preaching shaped by outcome based theories is not an attempt to minimize the importance of preaching or of the gifts of pastor-teacher. Instead, it is an attempt to get pastors to shift self-perception from:

1. The one who knows, and sometimes perceived as the only one who knows.

2. The one who informs.

3. The one who thinks that teaching/informing on Sundays especially is magically absorbed (completely, or mostly completely) simply by listening to the pastor-teacher.

Instead, the pastor-teacher who knows his or her gifting to preach and teach and inform sees that gift as designed to:

1. Equip congregants to be learners and students; to be folks who also know.

2. Exhorts congregants to become better learners and students so they can acquire information themselves.

3. Educates congregants to live what is being learned by providing opportunities — or illustrations — for the congregant to “apply” or “discern” how to live out the information in this world. Instead of thinking what is said magically goes into other heads, the pastor-teacher “enables” congregants to work out the information into real life.

A question: Since we are talking about a shift in self-perception rather than a revolution of what is being done, what are the things that pastor-teachers can do to help this shift?
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