Preachertainers and Pew Fodder

Recent articles in the secular media about holographic preachers, intentionally emptying pews, and super-sizing the Lord's Supper open up a discussion about what people really are looking for in a Sunday gathering of believers, and how the priorities of the kingdom can easily take a backseat in that arrangement. Wayne and Brad both talk about their experiences as "preachertainers" and why they grew disillusioned with that as the building block for real body life. If seeing the kingdom grow in our life and world was our real priority, how might that change the way we think about our gatherings and what we do to help equip people to live the life Jesus offered us?


  1. “Good Friday,” if I’m not mistaken, comes from the name “God’s Friday.” It’s an example of how English has changed over the centuries.

    It’s like “good bye,” which comes from “God be with you.”

    No time to look up references, but that’s what I remember studying.

    Hope this is a help.

  2. Just wanted to let you both know that I enjoy the laughing and joking around. A friend of mine tell me she felt you were “mocking”. I just don’t sense that.

    I spent so many years not having fun and preachertainers trying to make me into pew fodder, it’s a relief to be relaxed and have a good time. Just the thought of walking into a church makes me queezy and I envision a suffocating mask coming on to my face!

    Love listening to the podcast, it is freeing me to be who God made me to be, thank you so much!

  3. You two are still “preachertainers” and your mode is humor laced with sarchasim and lots of mocking and don’t you change one thing. I am wondering about the benefit of being a weekly listener. My couch is comfy as compared to the pew. Does this make me couch fodder? Two things I loved, Brad’s ah ha moment of indulgences and Wayne’s bit about Kenyans changing as one by one is changed. The thought of Michael leading the wave with others who were impacted in his house, the small group of 5. It makes my heart leap with joy. FREEDOM for Kenya and Africa, free at last free at last.

  4. Wayne and Brad, Great pod cast, one of the best I’ve ever heard, really, really great,…. I just can’t remember what it was about!

  5. We stopped attending church about 3 months ago. It was scarey at first , not knowing if our daily walk with the Lord would fade away. The interesting thing is that I feel closer to Him with each passing day and the thought of returning as a regular attendee at a local church is scarey.
    I started a nursing home ministry around 18 months ago and have found a new freedom and joy since I left the local church. My husband and I attended a beautiful sunrise service at Ocean City and met some great people there. The churches we attended in last 20 years would not approve of going to a community of different churches. What a feeling of freedom to have gone and heard a message that I will remember for the rest of my life. It does not matter if I have differences on Bible interpretation. I am very excited about the journey we have just begun. Thank you for your podcasts.

  6. Loved the podcast. Maybe you can help me with something.

    One of the spiritual gifts is teaching. I have beleived that was the gift that God gave me and that “was” my motivation to be a pastor, I wanted to be a preachertainer. In the process of ‘being raised up’ at my former club I kept asking the pastor about using my gifts, looking for an opportunity to teach, Sunday School, Sunday Moring, maybe a mid-week teaching, something. All I got was; “Use your home group.”, as I was a homegroup leader. My home group was a captive audience, and I knew enough to realize that was not the right environment for biblical teaching, we were supposed to be living relationally. I had no desire to be the main attraction, and as the leader I was actually more interested in what God was doing in their lives then telling them what “I” thought God wanted them to do. So I had no outlet for my gifting.

    Now stepping outside the box, I realize I will not be in front of 300 people doing the preachtainer thing, and I am now asking how do I live out this gift that God gave me. What does teaching mean if not standing in front of a bunch of pew fodder, making them feel guilty, and support my vision with all their hard earned cash, and the few hours extra they have each week. Right?

    I am confident that a good biblical teaching on the character of Christ or the story of God’s purpose and plan in the world, could connect with the Holy Spirit and God could use it to help the process of transformation in peoples lives, but by itself it would fall short of that goal. I think we are on the same page there, but again the question is how do you live that gifting out if as you guys said, it replaced people’s personal reading of the bible cause they didn’t get out of the word what I got out of the word and communicated to them, whether it is 3 or 300, the truth of God’s written word, so effectively?

    You seemed to say that teaching itself was a roadblock to people taking the responsability to be in the word and hearing from God directly and not through another member of the body who is gifted in that area. Again, I think we are on th same page this is one of those questions that has plagued me as I make the transition to relational Christianity.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  7. I really enjoyed the podcast today. You have touched the issue close to my heart. I am now at the point in my life/ministry where I am looking for transformation and not more information or data. The church as we have known her for our lifetimes is largely irrelevant in the world today. Are we being changed into the image of Christ? Are we becoming more like Him or less? I’m afraid the “pew fodder” are consumers and we have become religious marketeers sustaining the American Gospel enterprise but really changing very little. The first words Jesus ever spoke to disciples on planet earth were ,”What are you looking for?” The first words those disciples spoke were, “Where do you live?” Jesus said “Come and see!” (Jn 1:35-39) I think the body of Christ needs to ask those questions and respond to Jesus’ invitation. Come and see…

  8. Guys,
    Your comments on my quote in the Christian Post – Pew Fodder/Preachertain – further proves Americans are irony challenged. Of course I was being sarcastic. Puhleeze. I am the last person on the planet who would promote holographic preaching. As I say to my kids when they want to know what I’m talking about, “read my blog!” 🙂

    And if you want to talk about Kenya, I’d love to engage. I’ve taught there for over six months in total in the last ten year.


  9. Bill, I don’t think we were sure how to take your article. We were just having fun with it. Didn’t mean any offense at all. The problem with so much material floating across our computer screens is that you’re not sure where it comes from. The first time I saw Bob Tilton on TV, I swore it was a Saturday Night Live skit. I kept waiting for the punch line and was shocked to learn he was appearing to be serious and people were sending him money! Happy to talk about Kenya if you want and see what you were doing there. How? When?

  10. Wayne,
    I do find it interesting that just about everyone else who commented on the Christian Post article (which I had nothing to do with – it was them quoting from a throwaway post on my blog) seemed to get my sarcasm. And CP quoting me as the author of a “book” I wrote in 2006 and which is really a long essay, was rather amusing in their case. It seemed almost sinister when you two spoke of it.

    I’m quite used to being attacked for positions I take. I’m just not used to being attacked for a position I hold a diametrically opposed position to – something that a simple google of my name would have shown. You’re welcome to flail away at me for those things you disagree with me about, but one would hope you’d do a little more research in the future before you make anyone the butt of your humour… or the lack thereof.

  11. Bill, As I tried to say, we weren’t attacking you. We were enjoying your incisive comments about the holographic possibilities and then the culture behind the preachertainer and pew-fodder. I’m so sorry you felt attacked. Honestly that’s not what we were trying to do. We were laughing at the culture behind your comments. Yes, we will be more careful in the future so people don’t misunderstand that kind of thing.

  12. i agree that the large church gatherings are ineffective for the equipping of the saints. i agree that the entertainment factor is all too true, as evidenced by the daily lifestyles that don’t match the message and mission of the body of Christ. i also agree that block mortgages are the worst stewardship of kingdom resources ever (as compared to say feeding the poor and caring for the widows). however, i believe that gatherings have their place and can be very effective as celebrations of the journeys that Christians are experiencing and can be very encouraging to the flock (not fodder, lol). i see this primarily as a cisis of leadership! Christ, the head of te body, has given to the body certain leadership gifts and offices for the express purpose of equipping the saints for works of ministry. it is to be done in a way that brings unity to the body of Christ. it is to be done with the goal of attaining to the maturity level of Christ himself. it is to be done until He returns. thanks for the conversation guys.

  13. John, I think that has always been our point, as well as the fact that there are LOTS of ways to gather that don’t have to have people lined up in rows watching a show or lecture that has been prepared for them. And there are lots of ways to equip people without doing those lectures. But that said, I am often lecturing to groups who want to learn something helpful to them, but we don’t do it every week!

  14. Your podcast led me to think about the Day of Pentecost and other large gatherings that Paul taught at. Of course person to person is greatly effective, however Christ did not forsake preaching to large crowds and neither sholuld we. The Holy Spirit orchestrated the first Pentecostal sermon to a good sized gathering. Why do you seem to imply that the people who are in the pews ONCE a week can’t /don’t spend time during the overwhelming hours away from the pew to minister to each other?

    I like what you do. I just wonder sometimes if you are a little close-minded, pew or no pew God’s Spirit is able to minister to people.

  15. Regretfully, I think you missed the point, Doug. The problem is not with large crowds, nor even being an entertaining speaker. I often speak to large crowds. The concern was building a dependence on a man rather than equipping people to live fully in the life of Jesus. Yes, Jesus often spoke to large crowds too, though they usually didn’t stick around after or even understand what he was saying. His most effective engagements to help people live and understand this journey came in much smaller bits, in homes and upper rooms, and boat rides across Galilee.

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