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29th September 2016

Teach and Reach, or Reach and Teach?

In the first four weeks of this new church year, I have twice found myself in discussions with the King’s staff team about what should make up the content of the preaching, and who should be our target audience on Sundays.

This is a very important area of our philosophy of ministry. Ministry philosophy is the prioritisation of one value over another and how you work out that value in practice. All values are important – a breadth and balance creates a healthy church. Perhaps it helps to earth this principle in an example: As you leave church on Sunday, what defines success for you? Is it that someone was saved, or is it that a Christian left with more knowledge and a deeper understanding? Ideally at King’s, we seek to achieve both. But if you had to choose one, which would you choose?

So who are you trying to reach and serve on a Sunday? How do you remain both biblically true and culturally relevant? What is unique about your context? Good contextualisation gives answers to these questions and lays the foundation for Gospel preaching, which applies Biblical truth into the lives of the listeners.

I have observed over the years that the answers to the questions above normally reflect the gift mix of the lead elder. A pastor teacher tends to lean towards the belief that if he teaches the people well, evangelism will follow. Most of the time at King’s, we turn it the other way round: let's reach people and then teach them, rather than let's teach them and then reach. Or, as I expressed recently when preaching in our Acts series: Holy Spirit activity leads to gospel proclamation and then discipleship.

Steve Tibbert

Posted by Steve Tibbert

Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham, Lee and Beckenham. The church has seen continued growth since the mid-1990s, both in terms of size and diversity.

As well as leading King’s, Steve hosts and leads Newfrontiers, a fellowship of apostolic leaders with hundreds of churches around the world.

Steve is married to Deb. They have three grown up sons and one grandson.

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