The sermon is the Swiss Army Knife of ministry. We think it can do anything. It should cast vision, inspire, rebuke, inform, encourage, educate, administrate, highlight upcoming events, challenge, etc etc etc.
We believe the sermon can do more than it can actually do.
The sermon cannot disciple people.
Jesus never preached a sermon and thought his discipling work was done. If that is true of Jesus how can we expect to do any better?
So don’t have a sermon series on it and be done with it. If you ever hear someone say, “Oh we did discipleship back in 2019 when the preacher had a five week series on it” you know you are in trouble.
Discipling requires relationships. It cannot be done in mass. It cannot all be done by the preacher. Because we rely on our ministers to do the ministry the work of discipling is left untouched.
If preachers decide they are going to do it then they have to stop doing other things people expect them to do. Are you going to visit less? Prepare for the sermon less? Go to less meetings? Or are you going to work longer hours?
It would be best if more Christians engaged in discipling relationships. This is how God always intended it.
This isn’t rocket science. This is faithfulness.
Prayerfully consider who God has put in your life who you can have a conversation about Jesus with. Open up your Bibles to a Gospel. Pray together. Discuss what Jesus said together. Ask each other your questions and learn to live the Jesus life with another person.
This is what Jesus called us to do. The preacher can’t do it alone and neither can the elders. In most instances, in my experience, neither the preacher or the elders are doing it but they should and they shouldn’t do it without the help of the congregation.