Should Churches “Keep the Cookies on the Lower Shelf”?

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From The Stream:

“I try to keep the cookies on the lower shelf.” I keep hearing pastors saying that. It bothers me.

Oh, I get it, to a certain extent. The idea is keep sermons accessible. Everyone should be able to keep up with what’s being taught, no matter how short a time they’ve been in the faith, and no matter how little education they might have had.

It makes sense in a way, but still pastors must ask: Who are we reaching that way, and who aren’t we? What are we communicating about the faith, intentionally and unintentionally? And what does the Bible say about lower-shelf teaching?

Lower-shelf teaching can only produce lower-shelf disciples following a lower-shelf religion.

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5 Responses to “ Should Churches “Keep the Cookies on the Lower Shelf”? ”

  1. Though the idea of “keeping the cookies on the lower shelf” may seem reasonable, isn’t it ultimately a bit insulting to your congregation. Having spent the last 25 years of my like in a church that does quite the opposite of this, I can attest to the fact that people are quite capable of understanding and being positively challenged by “top shelf” reasoning. My church has grown from a start up to the largest Evangelical congregation in the most secular city in America.

  2. Why is there an upper shelf? Shouldn’t a god’s message to his creation be simple and easily understandable by that creation?

    Sure. I mean an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient being who can create the universe ex nihilo should be no problem for anyone to understand. But actually Bob, you’re not completely wrong. I mean if you look at some of the intellectual hoops non believers have to jump through to justly their non belief, it says something significant about the essential truth of God’s existence.

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