The Thing About Preaching

Mar. 1, 2023.

One day John’s disciples came to Jesus and asked if he was really the Messiah. Jesus told them to go back and tell John, who was in prison at the time, about all the miracles occurring and how the gospel is being preached to the poor. (Matt. 11:5; Lu 7:22) Is it possible we are routinely developing our preaching around scriptural themes, while forgetting that the first focus might have less to do with content and more to do with who we are preaching too? According to Jesus, preaching to the poor is in itself a telltale sign that the Messianic age is upon us.

In 2004, Paul Engel and Gary McIntosh researched the Characteristics of renewal movements in church history, and found the following commonalities: 1)A rediscovery of the heart of the gospel, 2)A tension with institutional forms, 3)Catalytic leaders, 4)Rediscovering a sense of community, 5)Active discipleship as the norm for all members, 6)Ordinary Christians are released to ministry, and 7)Preaching the gospel to the poor. Whether it was the four Great Awakenings between 1730 – 1890, the American Pentecostal Revival of 1900, or the Welsh Revival of 1904, there was a consistent return to preaching the gospel to the poor.

This research thrills me, especially when I consider what the Spirit is raising up with the Dinner Church movement. All of the characteristics listed above are increasingly becoming commonplace among our many Jesus Tables. I am not saying the Dinner Church wave will reach to the heights of the Great Awakening or the Pentecostal Revival, but I do feel a deep kinship with the highpoint’s of church history and the work of our Founder as we preach the stories of Jesus to the poor at tables hundreds of dinner tables every night across the land. There is a holy alignment that occurs when we focus our preaching on the poor. And that is worth some deep meditation.

Blessings & Boldness,



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