On Not Assuming Too Much Knowledge

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of listening to Chris Blake, the current Principal of Cliff College, give some seminars on preaching and mission. In one session, he highlighted the need for preachers not to assume too much biblical knowledge among congregations. The very next day I witnessed a preacher carefully elucidating from a congregation how many of them knew the story of wrestling Jacob. About ten per cent put up their hands.

Then on Monday came an email version of the latest Church and Culture blog by James Emery White, Communion and Coleslaw. He raises the same issue, but particularly among those newer to the faith. He includes a touching reaction from a new worshipper who was clearly unfamiliar with what the ‘Lord’s Supper’ is.

Thanks for the informative email.  I have been going to Meck for about a month now and I love it!  I have even talked my two friends into joining.  We are all thankful to be part of an awesome church with great values.  I do have one question.  I remember hearing about the first Wednesday of every month being a service with in-depth Bible teachings and a celebration  of the Lords Supper.  What does that mean? I understand the part about the Bible teachings but what is a celebration of the Lords Supper? Does that mean we all bring some  kind of food to share? I am planning on going tonight but I wanted to make sure I bring something if need be.  Any information you can provide with would be greatly appreciated!

What a refreshing reminder that is.

But how sad it is that we still have to give out page numbers to longstanding Christians to find Bible passages, because they still don’t know their way around the Scriptures. Not that biblical knowledge alone is a test of spirituality, but I find it moving to deal with young Christians where I can’t expect them to know stuff and sad to deal with many experienced Christians who know little more.

What are the causes? Is it bad teaching by those of us who lead? Is it a lack of passion for discipleship? Is it cultural pressures?

What do you think?

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