Why is preaching important? Some would argue that it is not–that it is something to be endured. Preaching is very important! And here is why:
Preaching is God speaking through the personality of the pastor. The pastor is preaching God’s word from God’s word.
The word of God, inspired by the spirit of God, is the instrument of God, to change us from what we are, to what God wants us to be.
Jack Modesett, Jr.
The preaching of the word of God is designed to transform us into the image of Christ.
Josh Moody gets it right when he said:
- Preaching is not a bunch of funny jokes stuck together for maximum humorous impact.
- Preaching is not a whole mass of theological content downloaded to educate everyone, willing or not.
- Preaching is God’s way of meeting with people to show them Jesus.
I have had some friends who have complained about this preacher or that preacher because they didn’t like his preaching style. Or they said that they didn’t get anything out of their sermons.
Let me answer this with three responses:
- I have been in college and seminary level preaching classes. I have sat through some real snoozers–that had little biblical content. There were guys who the professor questioned their call of God to preach, in front of everyone. In even the worst sermon I have ever heard I have learned something. When God’s word is preached there is always something to learn.
- If you go to church thinking you won’t learn anything, you will be right. If your mind is already made up that the preacher won’t teach you anything you have set yourself up for failure. Change your attitude about what you are getting ready to experience. If we change our mindset to looking for what God wants to teach us, it will forever change how we look at preaching.
- Your pastor is not your favorite TV, radio, or podcast preacher. Many of the “famous” preachers spend their time only preparing the sermon for Sunday. They have large staffs that take care of all the other operations of the church. YOUR PASTOR likely takes care of everything. IF he were given the opportunity to put in 30-40 hours a week on a sermon it would be like those other guys. As it is, he leads meetings, councils families, visits the sick, organizes events, recruits volunteers, and many other things we don’t get to see. Between all of that he prepares a sermon for Sunday morning. So, cut him a little slack when it doesn’t come off as polished as the “famous” guys.
What to expect from preaching:
- God will speak to you (already covered this above).
- There will be something for you to do.
Preaching is not just for information only. God expects us to do something about what we have learned. If there is nothing for us to do then potentially we weren’t paying close enough attention to the sermon, or potentially the sermon was just a data dump with no call to action. Either way, God has given us a brain on purpose. WE are responsible for our own spiritual growth and development–not our pastor. He is there to help and guide, but our growth is on us. Thus, if we find ourselves having not listened carefully enough, or we didn’t hear a clear call to action, we must use our brains and pray to God and find out what is required of us. It is when we apply the word of God to our lives that we show our faithfulness.
A few more thoughts:
- Pray for your pastor.
- Prepare yourself for the sermon.
- Prepare to act.
- Pastors are people too.