There is a lot to learn from being exposed to different levels of teaching and preaching. Some believe that we must speak at the level of our listeners so what we share do not fly over their heads. I used to believe this as well, until I heard a very famous preacher say that he will never speak at a certain level to his congregation; he chooses to speak to them as if they were college students. He has seen the fruit of this practice over several decades of taking this approach where members of his congregation have ascended to the level at which he teaches.
Congregations today are mixed, and dynamic. For the most part, some churches tend to draw only a certain caliber of people. We don’t read a lot of books, so we lack the knowledge that the knowledgeable members of our society possess, and will not win in a verbal debate with them because we will not be able to relate to their level of reasoning and understanding. They have read the Bible too, but are usually more preoccupied with the many contradictions they believe it contains, and they have read many other books too. It is sad that Christians don’t value knowledge as much as the world, but it is insane to think that we can win them to Christ with a few rehearsed religious slurs.
If we want people to be transformed, we must set the bar. They do this in schools. When we shift from one grade to a new grade, the level of teaching and expectation is much higher than where we are coming from. Teachers and Lecturers will not stoop to the level we were, because then we would get stuck there. They will be forbearing and understanding when we grapple with the new information, but the expectation is always growth and a higher ascendency of our thought patterns and reasoning and understanding capabilities…and this is the path of growth. We cannot undermine this process when it comes to church and that is why we have so many infants in our churches.
Another aspect of growth that we overlook is the dealing with self. I have held church positions and functions in the church, and there is this ‘culture’ where we tend to sweep the issues we have to deal with under the rug for a brief time, so we can perform at church. In other words, we assume a posture of religiosity as we approach the doors of the church, but outside our grand performance in a church service setting, we struggle with our emotions and desires, we backbite, gossip, fall to all manner of sin, and indulge in a myriad of other practices that diminishes our spirituality. This has become the norm for ‘church people.’
For us to shift dimensions, there must be a constant introspection. The Bible says it like this: “Examine yourself.” David said it like this: “Lord, search me. See if there be any wicked ways in me.” There must be a revelation of the darkness and evil within, for this must be exposed to the light for their to be total liberty of the living soul of whom we have become in Christ. If we disregard this process, our spirituality becomes truncated and our power and authority as a son of God is diminished. One solution to this problem is that teachers and preachers must first deal with themselves, and then they must speak at the level to which their listeners need to aspire to reach.