Kerygma and Didache

While studying for a class in Modern Homiletic Theory I came across these two important terms. The terms of interest to me now are the comparison between Kerygma and Didache in preaching. Often didache is seen as the “ethical instruction” in preaching. Kerygma’s purpose is seen as making new converts. Here we see a difference in purpose. Didache is for the converts and Kerygma is for the outsiders.

Who is Your Preaching For?

As I look at this a fundamental question arises, How much of our preaching is for the congregation and how much is for outsiders? Some churches are totally evangelistic driven and thus almost all of their preaching would be considered Didache under this understanding. Other try to balance the two, but how should you or do you balance these two ideas?

Some have attempted to clearly define what the Kerygma was in the New Testament. However I think this thought of “who the preaching is for” rather than the “content” is helpful in distinguishing the two.

So preachers, think about who you are addressing in your sermons and see how much time you are addressing those in the community and those outside the community. From your own perspective see if what you are doing is in line with your understanding of what Christian preaching is.



Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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One comment on “Kerygma and Didache
  1. Rev Femi Ige says:

    I clearly agree with your write up about kerygma and didache. The problems with many profesors is that they have never experienced the kerygma, so they have problems with the didache. It is the kerygma that gives meaning to didache, it is the door, it is the entry point!

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
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