Is what should be going on "out there" going on "in here"?
I know that preaching is supposed to be the focal point of our church gathering based on our Protestant traditions. Especially expository preaching. But (and here I go again) is it Scriptural?
The question unfortunately often gets framed like this: either we have expository preaching or we have cutesy anecdotes and story time. As if there is no other option, as if you cannot have solid Biblical teaching and even exposition without a prepared 45 monologue sermon.
When I prepared a sermon, it was equal parts (more or less) declaring the Gospel and calling for repentance on the one hand and designed to impart teaching to believers on the other hand. I think that is true of most sermons on a given Sunday. If so, that implies that on any given Sunday either:
We are preaching the Gospel of repentance to those who have already been born again.
We are teaching the things of God to people with unregenerate hearts to whom such teachings are meaningless.
That brings me back to my basic premise. Are preaching and teaching the same thing? If not, do we see preaching the Gospel as something that happens in the local gathering of the church? It seems that there was a great deal of teaching and edifying and encouraging going on when the church gathered but not preaching as we understand it. There was a lot of preaching going on in the New Testament, but it appears to be something happening toward groups that were clearly unbelievers (out in public, in the synagogues, in the temple, in the homes of unbelievers). I love good preaching but is what we know as preaching Biblical and appropriate in the local gathering of the church?