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Give them what they want—the Word!

In my experience as a former pastor’s wife for 25 years and then as a leader with para-church organizations, I have seen how solid biblical teaching and preaching can affect people on a personal level. The stories are many, transformative, life changing and a solid witness to the community.

So many people, including many who are older, are longing for more liturgy, simplicity and deeper unfolding of spiritual truth. They want less “worship” noise, more reflection, a proper balance between worship time and preaching time, with solid expository teaching. They are content to let God’s Word do its work without someone telling them how to apply it.

I do not believe that the days of deeper teaching are over; those who really want God, will want the Word! I especially see this in my work with Women Together, when I travel to various places around the world, such as Ukraine, Brazil, Kenya, Uganda, Argentina, Philippines and India.

In these places, people want the Word! I recall a three-hour, non-scripted service in Buenos Aries where I heard the pastor preach from a particular scriptural passage to his congregation of 5,000, knowing that people were lining up outside to get into the next service.

But could this happen in here in North America? Here in the West, we are deeply narcissistic and that affects how we view everything, including our view of the Bible. We have turned inward and “self” rules.

I recently read the book The Vanishing Evangelical by Calvin Miller and he refers to the idea that we create on own theology based on how we feel, think and interpret life. We become our own interpretation of truth and no other truth applies.

Wisdom among leadership must prevail in these difficult times. We need to be like the Men of Issachar (1 Chron. 12:32) who had an understanding of the times and knew what to do. Today’s pastors and leaders need that kind of wisdom to stand against trends that weaken our foundation of truth, which is the Word of God. Trends come and go; they are like tumbleweeds, with no substance and no deep roots. Without God’s Word planted firmly in our lives, we become weak, vulnerable, and susceptible to every other new wind and trend.

For several years, I have been alarmed at the lack of biblical literacy in churches even though we have more Bible translations now then ever. All of this has sobering implications for the current and future generations. Knowing basic doctrine is at the heart and core of building solid, devoted followers of Christ. Knowing what and why we believe settles life’s questions, gives us clear purpose and life direction and stability in our position and relationship with Christ.

We cannot live higher than what we believe. Biblical doctrine shapes our belief system. Without it our faith is weak, an add-on with little or no transformational power in our lives.

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About the author

Special to ChristianWeek

Margaret Gibb is the founder and director of Women Together.

About the author