OK. Maybe that’s not quite true. But he’s certainly advocating a fairly dramatic reconsideration of how we do “teaching” in churches, and specifically the place of the sermon in that.
“What is most needed is a complete spiritual formation approach to the entire church and for each person; outcomes need to be formulated by the leaders and the church so that the whole approach is embraced. Within the overall approach to realizing outcomes, which I would say are loving God, loving others and a life of holiness, sermons play a role and sometimes an important one. But serious formative changes occur when the individual and the group participate in, activate, and integrate what is being taught. (By the way, that last sentence requires pages of discussion.) And these formative changes take place within a set of outcomes. And, perhaps most importantly, they take place with spiritual directors, pastors, teachers and friends who come alongside to help a person.”
There’s little doubt that this represents a fairly radical departure from the way that churches work: there’s still very little support for any model of discipleship that doesn’t include Sunday morning (or Sunday evening, or blah blah we’re so original on a Thursday) at the center, whether explicitly or just demonstrated in the way a church runs. The sermon has become sacred, a pillar of Christianity rather than a medium of communication.
Interesting thoughts at least.