Why do we make a big deal about preaching? The church performs many ministries and is involved in a myriad of activities. We pray they are all good. From worshipping through music, to teaching the Bible in small groups, to providing positive and productive ministry to children and students, to supplying various ministries of mercy, all of these and more are vital in the life of our church. So, why do we spotlight preaching (not the preacher but the act of preaching)? Is this something churches are supposed to do?
Why does our church place preaching at a prominent spot in our worship service? Why do we allocate so much time to it each week? Why is preaching important enough that our church has hired me to prepare and deliver sermons? How would you answer someone if they asked you, “Why should I go to the worship service? Why not just attend FLOCK?”
That’s a lot of questions, but my point is that I want you to stop and think about why preaching the Word of God—and hearing it preached—each week is so important. My prayer is that you’ll view the preaching time in our church as much more than tradition—much more than something that’s just supposed to happen on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
Christ Commands It
The Bible clearly compels us to emphasize preaching, and it reveals the crucial place that preaching has in the spiritual health of every person. As part of the last instructions Jesus gave His disciples, He commanded them to establish a church that preaches the gospel to the world (Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 16:15). While these passages apply to all of us about preaching the gospel as we live our daily lives, preaching in the local church is a specific way the church implements our Savior’s command. If it were for no other reason than that, we would be obligated to be about the task of preaching.
Establishment and Growth of Faith
Preaching also plays a fundamental role in the establishment and growth of our faith! For example, Paul told the Roman believers, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (10:14). Again, it is not only a means by which God draws the lost world to Himself, but it is also the means He uses to increase our faith as well. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Paul’s phrase “word of Christ” actually means through a speech concerning Christ.
To the World It Is Folly
Preaching is one of the things that our world most scorns. Watch how preaching is depicted in the media. When was the last time you went to a secular movie or watched a television program in which preaching was valued? It simply doesn’t happen. Why is that? The apostle wrote to the church in Corinth explaining the reason. He said, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). What the world considers “folly” God uses to demonstrate His power (1 Corinthians 2:4).
Therefore, make sure you expose yourself to the preaching of God’s Word regularly. Give it a place of prominence in your weekly schedule. Prioritize it in your own worship experience. Care about how it is done and that it is being done. Focus on the message and not the mouthpiece. Pray for the preacher before and during the preaching. Protect this action and don’t allow it to be depreciated or downgraded by either something “good” or by some gimmick.
The Prominence of Preaching
Whatever the church does, it must promote the centrality of preaching (again, not the preacher but the act of preaching). Henderson Hills gives me the opportunity to make prayer, the study of Scripture, and preaching the primary focuses of what I do. I promise you I will seek to be faithful to that task and accurate in what I say. Listen critically, always checking what I say with what the Scriptures teach. I will do all I can to keep the ministry of preaching the primary focus of our ministry, as the Bible says we must. And remember, the issue is the act of faithful proclamation, not who is preaching.
In summary, preaching is the proclamation that God mysteriously and supernaturally uses to quicken our souls, and we all need it.
I love being your pastor,
Wed, June 13, 2012
by Dennis Newkirk