Why We Need to Preach Less on Sin and More on Possibility

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A number of years back a group of women from my church started attending the Colour conference run by Hillsong. Every year most of them come back with a bigger vision of who God created them to be and a determination to be those women.

While those of us outside Hillsong often stand back and take potshots at its theological and ecclesiological weaknesses – and like every church there are many – we easily miss the fact that the church has really understood how to proclaim the good news about Jesus to suburbanites. The bulk of the Australian population live in the suburbs, where the dominant approach to life is aspirational. I was reminded of this during a very helpful discussion earlier this week with one of Australia’s leading missiologists. Suburbanites tend not to think of themselves as broken and in need of fixing, but as competent and wanting to get as much from life as possible.

Yet on the rare occasion they show up to church we try to convince them they are broken and in need of fixing, and unsurprisingly, the message is rejected. But what if we told the gospel story in a way that spoke to their aspiration? What if we spoke of the amazing, world changing people God created them to be? That God wants to help them become the very best version of themselves they can be, and use them to create the very best communities and world that can be? That the risen Christ shows us the way to this, exposing the failure of consumerism and hedonism and individualism and all other isms to deliver what we really want, and points us to a far superior way?

Would this not be a positive, powerful presentation of the good news?

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4 Comments on "Why We Need to Preach Less on Sin and More on Possibility"

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kris adams
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It sounds like a really positive place to start. I’m all for meeting people where they are at instead of where you want them to be and then going on a journey with them. If that journey never encounters brokenness however then isn’t it ultimately a fake journey that promotes us to delude ourselves? And by encountering your brokenness I don’t mean someone laying a guilt trip on you or having the answer for how to fix you. A mature faith recognises their brokenness and recognises they are loved regardless of it.

kris adams
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but yes beggining a conversation around sin is a very ineffective and abusive way to begin a conversation.

Stanza
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From my experience most bible believing conservatives tend to preach about the doctrine of Sin which tend to revolve around: 1. Cautioning Christians not to be caught up in the notion of ‘cheap grace’ whereby Christ died for all of humanity’s sins (if you believe in that) and that all sins are forgiven and that all you need to do is believe in HIM. They mention that being A Christian is a disciple of Christ – turning away from sin like what Jesus did (not glorifying it) but to glorify God in all our actions (insert relevant bible passages here)… Read more »
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