April 2, 2012 by Daniel Beckworth
Which is better? I’ve wrested with this question for a few years now. I’ve tested the waters in both camps. My next three posts will deal with this dilemma that anyone who teaches or preaches will face. First on the gauntlet….
Knowledge Without Love
We all know the preacher/teacher who only breaks down the audience or class, yet never expresses any hope or good news. The speaker will often remind the audience of their constant failures and need to do better and try harder. The audience will always leave feeling as if they were completely worthless. The group will feel defeated week after week. They will have little hope for change in the future and will often settle into their defeated life. There is no drive to change or make a lasting impact on their environment.
The teacher/preacher lacks the personal touch that the group needs in order to learn. The audience will feel little connection to the teacher, thus paying very little attention to the content being shared.
The lessons will often be filled with much factual information, yet conveniently leaving off the practical application needed to implement the information being transferred.
The problem lies in that the transfer of information will be cold and will ultimately only lead to the compilation of facts without producing any kind of lasting change.
Example: Take your average old-school, legalistic church. They are not focused on evangelism or outreach , nor are they interested in reaching out to anyone who differs from them. They have zero interest in loving others, but they’re own personal doctrines are highly expounded upon. They stick to their guns until they don’t have anymore bullets. And the church eventually closes.
Knowledge without love does not transform.