(Preaching in Another Church?; What Type of Sermon Should Be Preached?) Bible Questions
“A faithful preacher in our area has been invited to speak in another church, not a church of Christ. Is this right?”
The following event took place during the first mission trip Paul and Barnabas led.
“But going on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading of the Law and the Prophets the synagogue officials sent to them, saying, “Brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it.” Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said”
– Acts 13:14 – 16a (New American Standard Bible)
As you can see, Paul had no problem going to a different religion and was more than willing to preach in that context. Paul was Jewish but he knew the law of Moses was no longer in effect. He also knew the Jewish people in the synagogues were in error. But the apostle also knew that was the best place to teach them about Christ.
So, it is right to preach the good news to anyone who will listen. I am not sure how receptive some people in other churches would be to the whole truth, but it is still a good thing to do. Yes, it is right to do this.
“I notice that much of our preaching here is aimed at the members. How do those who are not Christians ever hear how to be saved if we don’t preach to them too?”
We have many examples of the kind of sermons that were preached to those who were not yet Christians. Paul preached a lengthy sermon in Acts 13. This sermon was aimed at a Jewish audience in a synagogue, so it was full of Scriptures and arguments based on the law and the prophets.
When Paul went to Athens, he preached a whole different kind of sermon for Greek intellectuals (Acts 17:23 – 31). This sermon did not refer to the Old Testament at all, but reasoned from logic and the philosophies of the day. It seems Paul tailored his message for the audience.
So, it seems that preaching that is aimed at members is appropriate if the audience is made up of mostly members. On the other hand, some place should be found (either in the public assembly or in a private situation) where the message can be shared with those who have not yet heard it.
Paul made his message fit his audience. Preachers today should do that, too. Also – the teaching and preaching should not be confined only to the church building during certain hours or days of the week. Thanks for your question!