Is Authoritative Preaching Just a Western Tradition?

Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore of Founders Ministries explain why preaching isn’t just a cultural form missionaries can cast aside in the name of contextualization.

Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore on the Priority of Preaching, God’s Sovereignty, and Discernment

Is preaching essential to missions, or is it a Western tradition that can be sacrificed for the sake of contextualization? Some advocates of disciple-making movements (DMMs) claim the latter. In this interview, Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore of Founders Ministries explain why authoritative proclamation is indispensable to ministry in any culture.

Later in the episode, we address whether or not Reformed theology is compatible with missions and evangelism, and give pastors and seminarians words of advice for avoiding cultural trends bringing worldly sociological categories into our methods of outreach.

Tom Ascol is pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida, and Executive Director of Founders. Jared Longshore serves as associate pastor at Grace Baptist and Administrative Director of Founders. Together they host The Sword and the Trowel podcast, where they discuss issues of theology and culture ranging from church ministry and pastoral theology to social justice and biblical law.

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Alex Kocman & Scott Dunford

Alex Kocman is the Director of Communications and Engagement for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. Read his blog or follow him on X/Twitter.

Scott Dunford is the pastor of Western Hills Church in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.