Over the years we’ve launched just under 70 churches from our own. Those congregations have planted others and the number of churches that we know of exceeds 700.
They often don’t use our name or join our parent denomination. Right or wrong, we have intentionally tried to build the Kingdom of Heaven rather than shoot for institutional forms of church.
But while we care little about labels, or even governing, we do care about the values we pass along to our church planters.
Our disciple-making efforts involve personal mentoring, much on-the-job training, and learning by osmosis. Because of this, our budding young preachers sort of “organically” learn to teach exegetically. They just naturally generate sermons from the context of scripture.
However, over the years we’ve noticed a problem.
Because our people are not exposed to eisegesis or topical preaching, they can become enamored by it when they encounter it at a seminar or by some other means.
A new style is viewed as a new revelation and we see people drifting off from the church culture that birthed them. This is a cause for frustration.
We’ve lost a few people to extreme topical teaching, or to an over-emphasis on doctrine.
Some have even gone to writing sermons from “motivational books” and then looking for scripture to support their statements—dangerous turf indeed.
The other day one of our better preachers spent two hours with a group of young staff members and explained the difference between exegesis and eisegesis.
The concepts took in their minds and they each expressed a renewed desire to let the scripture speak for itself. We are on the right road.
What we learned as mentors is that relational disciple-making also needs structure and even curriculum beyond the books we read together. A small lesson, but significant if we intend to build the Kingdom together…