3 keys to manage you money and becomes more attractive to the opposite sex - sort of.

There is a lot of focus these days on what is being called "application preaching". That is preaching that focuses on things to apply into your life, such as three keys to healthy relationships or ways to manage money or any other how to sermon series you can imagine.

The thought is, and it is not a bad one, preachers need to say something that is relevant and something that people can walk away with and implement it into their lives. And because everyone has access to information through the internet, preachers do not need to focus on sharing information but how to apply that information.

According to Bob Farr and Kay Kotan in their book, Renovate or Die: 10 Ways to Focus Your Church on Mission, application preaching begins with the need of the congregation rather than a prescribed scripture (often called the lectionary).

Here is the rub that I have. Starting with a need and then giving the solution sounds a lot like an infomercial.

Preachers can then find needs that need to be filled. Yes, it gives people something they can walk away with, but it also creates a co-dependency that is really unhealthy in the long run.

The preacher gives you the solution to a need in your life, then when you have another need we then turn to the preacher and ask them to teach a series on that new need. It works for preachers too because then people will return looking to have their needs meet.

You have heard that when you give someone a fish they can eat for a day. Giving people fish everyday creates a co-dependency. You need me for fish, I need you to make me feel like I am doing good in the world.

I thought preachers are supposed to teach people to fish? I thought we are called to liberate break unhealthy co-dependent relationships? I though we are called to empower people and give them the tools to figure out how to address their own needs?

Martin Luther was angry at the Church for a number of reasons and one of those reasons was people had an unhealthy co-dependency with the church. The church was the only place where you could hear the Bible and it was read in a language you may not understand so you had to listen to the priest tell you what it said.

To combat this co-dependent way of doing church, Luther decided to translate the Bible into German and print the thing on the press for all to have.

If preachers are preaching to fill the needs in your life, then how are we doing anything different? I would propose that preaching is different. It is not a sales pitch in order for you to come back next week.

That is what blogs are for.

So come back in two days and I will submit a response to "application preaching".

(Hows that for co-dependent!)