We’re borrowing the research conducted by Andy Stanley on growing faith this fall and the first way Christians said they grew to a bigger faith was through PRACTICAL TEACHING. Jesus said to his disciples in the Great Commission, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28). Practical teaching is the teaching that causes you to act differently.
The Bereans in Acts 17 modeled that growth. They “welcomed the message very eagerly”. They received practical teaching from the Apostle Paul and the other disciples. We need more than a morning sermon from the pastor to experience practical teaching that inspires us to do Jesus’ teachings and have faith come alive. Bible Studies, Sunday School Classes, Christian books, radio, tapes, television, online teaching…they all are used by God to move faith from the head to our lives.
The Bereans also “examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so”. They did personal study, so that practical teaching was not left to the professionals. Baptists believe in the Priesthood of all Believers. Every Christian is in ministry. Practical teaching takes place when we take responsibility to learn ourselves.
What I didn’t say was how pastors try to make their messages practical. Preachers construct sermons hoping to answer the 3 questions:
What does it say?
So what does it matter?
Now what do I do?
On behalf of pastors everywhere, I ask your forgiveness for the impracticality of so many of our sermons. WELL, THAT IS WHAT I SHOULD HAVE SAID.