We Need More ‘Parlour Preaching’


Do you have a burden for people to know and love Jesus more? If you are a Christian the answer here is certainly, “Yes.” This is the great cry of our hearts. Though, we admit, the cry is often muffled and not attended with appropriate zeal. For a host of reasons, we neglect the work of speaking of Christ and his gospel to others.

This is not a new problem. As long at there have been Christian witnesses there have been temptations toward evangelistic apathy. The 19th-century English pastor and author Charles Bridges writes in his book The Christian Ministry that we need more “parlour preaching.” He defines this as “the ability to introduce the subject of religion seasonably and acceptably into social intercourse.” This, Bridges says, “is one of the most valuable talents to the church.”

Some today have used the term Gospel Fluency to describe a similar work (see Jeff Vanderstelt’s Gospel Fluency). In short, ones who are fluent in the gospel have their mother tongue in the gospel. They see and hear the world through the gospel filter and demonstrate an ability to speak the gospel into the everyday stuff of life.

It is important to note here that one is a parlour preacher simply to the unconverted but also to confessing Christians. We have a responsibility to speak the Word of God to one another, not simply to those outside the church (Eph. 4:15; Heb. 3:12-13).

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SOURCE: The Gospel Coalition
Erik Raymond