This is from a post on Scot McKnight’s blog that can be found originally here. My only question is whether or not enough emphasis is placed on the value of teaching from those that are capable of doing so. I agree that the church would be better off if more people tried to live a life that emulated what Christ taught, however if no one is their to teach and guide people towards that life, can it happen?
What is most needed is a complete spiritual formation approach to the entire church and for each person; outcomes need to be formulated by the leaders and the church so that the whole approach is embraced. Within the overall approach to realizing outcomes, which I would say are loving God, loving others and a life of holiness, sermons play a role and sometimes an important one. But serious formative changes occur when the individual and the group participate in, activate, and integrate what is being taught. (By the way, that last sentence requires pages of discussion.) And these formative changes take place within a set of outcomes. And, perhaps most importantly, they take place with spiritual directors, pastors, teachers and friends who come alongside to help a person.
The biggest issue here is not preaching; the biggest issue is the weight given to preaching in the overall mission of the local church. Emphasizing the weight of preaching is the Third Way.
All of this, of course, within the parameters of the work of God’s Spirit through Word and Eucharist, which means respect for the Great Tradition of the Church. There is no Third Way preaching until we get beyond the Sunday morning service as the primary form of education and formation in the church.