Domingo, 26 de Fevereiro de 2017
   
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Expository Preaching: Do churches need that?

Martyn and Marius were strikingly identical twins in appearance. As usual, they had almost opposite personality traits. They were fortunate enough to be converted in early childhood and attended together, in youth, the same seminar.

Martyn, since the biblical institute, used to stand out for his charisma and pragmatism. He used to say he was fond of all practical and reasonable things. After the seminary, he graduated in administration with an emphasis on marketing in order to be more useful to the kingdom, according to him. He was also really attracted to evangelism and stood out for his eloquence when preaching salvation since the first lessons taken in homilectics.

Marius was different. He was more contemplative, quiet and devoted himself to biblical theology in the seminary (he loathed the theory of sources and the documentary hypothesis). He also applied to hermeneutics and biblical languages. You could not say he was a brilliant student, but an invested one. He knew his academic limitations and less eye-catching personality.

God wanted Martyn and Marius to be ordained to ministry about the same time and at the same city. They ended up ministering in adjoining neighborhoods, both in Baptist Churches. As beginners, both churches were initially small. As time went by, inexorably marching, the differences in ministerial philosophies came to light.

Martyn’s Baptist Church grew, or rather over-sized in number of goers! His evangelistic passion and charisma brought results about right away. Not to mention the church’s operational aspect, effectively managed in details (and with spacious parking lot). There were also issues: the church had a “bus station” profile. Many came, but also many often left. The complaint from those who left (and, honestly, from some who stayed) was that the minister was an excellent evangelist, but that it was hard to endure sermons about salvation with long calls for conversion at the end, Sunday after Sunday. It’s known of a middle-age man (it is not polite to mention his name) that had gotten up 23 times attending to the call (some say 27) throughout Sunday appeals.

Regulars (cause saying members would be an overstatement) in Martyn’s church stood by social position (those were good cars), girls by fashion shows on Sundays and the youth by the communion, at church and in nightlife. However, it was definitely a big church with great facilities.

In the case of Marius, the quieter brother, victories in the ministry were a bit more modest. The church did grow numerically, but far less than the brother’s and it took much longer. Knowing himself to be limited in oratory, he stuck to the biblical text in his sermons and classes. To make it easy, he started a series of studies and spent a long time studying a single Bible book. At least members of his church, besides staying for very long, showed genuine spiritual growth. In twenty years, that 83 members church saw three young men get into the seminary to become ministers and two couples go abroad to serve the Lord as missionaries.

It was a peaceful church once Marius had studied, along with the church, texts about biblical discipline. After some time, a congregation very alike came up across town.

As a matter of God’s sovereignty, after thirty years of ministry, Martyn and Marius suddenly died in the same week. Martyn’s church, shaken by the death of their charismatic leader, got split after a few months: some adopted the neo-pentecostal branch and the rest joined the movement of cell churches.

Marius’church, after the proper grief, selected a young man with a pastoral call among the brethren. At the first time the young man got to the pulpit to preach after his indication, he asked the church to open their Bibles to the verse after that which Marius last preached right before his death. The church needed to go on so as expository preaching.

Pr Pedro Freitas

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