UPDATE: Dave should have been one of the 9 minute faces on The Nines. He wasn't. But this is as important a post from him, as was any of the talks from the multiple presenters @ The Nines.
IF I JUST PREACH A GOOD SERMON- THEY WILL COME: Three Dying Myths (of Christendom) About Preaching – a must read from Dave Fitch.
Especially if you are going to imbibe of the firehouse of ideas from The Nines – Dave should have been one of the voices.
The task of preaching is to proclaim truth. It is the moment that brings the truth into the present. Much like anamnesis in the Lord’s Supper is much more than intellectual recall of the Lord’s death and resurrection, so preaching is more than recalling and teaching information from the past (in the Bible) about God. Preaching is a speech-act. It is the proclaiming of the truth out of Scripture over us so as to bring the truth into being – by the Spirit. Preaching is a truth making event – not in the sense that the truth is invented here – but that the Spirit – through the gifts – brings it into reality. (I’ll have to defend myself against the accusation that I’m a Bultmannian sometime). Much like Jesus said in Luke chapter 4:21 – “today this Scripture has been fulfilled in its hearing” – proclamation is a speaking forth of an interpretation (from Scripture) of our lives in terms of who God is, the gospel and what He is doing to bring it about in our lives and thru us into the world. If anything then, far from trying to make the Scriptures relevant – the goal of preaching is to make everything else irrelevant. It is the re-narrating of our selves corporately into God.
The bottom line is, even if you only have ten people left, once we preach for formation, where God’s truth is birthed in and among us, we become shaped for His Mission in the world. We can see things we didn’t see before. We act out of assumptions we didn’t have before. We imagine what God is doing in ways not possible before. And the little congregation of “ten” becomes a powder-keg for Mission and the harvesting of fields ready for the gospel (the mission will grow!). Such preaching is essential to the missional community because it is the means by which the Spirit shapes a community into the reality of God, the Lordship of Christ and His Mission.
You might also want to take a little more than double The Nines time slot to watch this video of Dave: