15 February 2009

What is a Preacher?

The life of a preacher is a privilege and honor. It is very demanding and can also be very rewarding sometimes. The demands can take the victory and joy out of a preacher’s life quickly and swiftly. This may sometimes lead to burnout or weak and unprepared messages. The congregation suffers by growing weaker with every unprepared or thoughtless message that has only been prepared late Saturday evening. Preaching takes hard work and a deep study into the truth of God’s Word. The calling of the pastor is the highest calling to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Heb 13:7 speaks about the importance of preachers: "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God (pastor/elders/faithful leaders). Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." Preachers have a responsibility to their people and even James points out the importance of the accountability of a preacher to his sheep as seen in James 3:1 "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness". This means future judgement on how I taught the children of God under my ministry. Preaching is a gift and responsibility from God, so we must make time for the word of God so that we can properly relay the information learned through the Holy Spirit to the congregation. In turn, the congregation will grow and desire the Word because they see our desire and passion for the Word, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word (meat of the word, sustenance), that ye may grow thereby."1 Peter 2:2. Men who have been called to preach must make preaching their priority next only to their family. Satan’s task is to get the preacher otherwise occupied or destroy him with the multitude of other things which take him away from practicing the gift that God has given him. If the local church keep the preacher busy all the time for example: deciding what color or style of drapes should be chosen for the church. These are issues that shouldn't’t even concern the pastor. These are tasks for the lay person or deacons to decide. This should not be the responsibility of the pastor who also has to prepare messages, do visitation throughout the week, and still maintain a balanced home life., and take away from his real work, it is no wonder the churches of today are struggling to stay in the word of God. Very few in today’s churches desire the Word because the preacher doesn’t desire the Word and his messages have become weak and mundane. Preparation of a message doesn’t come over night. It takes time and obedience to God’s calling. Preaching needs to be motivating and challenging to the people of the church so that they grow to maturity and not be the believer who lives on ‘milk’ as seen in Heb 5:13-14 "for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled (like a baby) in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil".
A pastor must keep the congregation curious about each message. The only way to do that is to keep it fresh and rich. As he preaches, he must try not to rely only on his notes, because the people are more likely to remember a message when they see that every word is from the heart. Charles Spurgeon says "The kind of sermon which is likely to break the hearer’s heart is that which first has broken the preacher’s heart, and the sermon which is likely to reach the heart of the hearer is the one which has come straight from the heart of the preacher". This should be in mind throughout the preacher’s preparation and delivery to the church so that they, in turn, may also grow in their sanctification. Every sermon should be heart-felt; kind and non-defensive; you must be sure and secure in your convictions. One preacher said "that one should never preach a sermon if he is uncertain about the major truth of the message". We must set our priorities when it comes to our calling and the duties of the church because, it is very easy to keep saying yes when we should say no. We must remember that we are to be about the Father’s business. The biggest decision we need to make is to communicate clearly to our church leaders and staff about ways they can assist in giving us more time to concentrate on the spiritual end of the church. The leaders and staff should be responsible for the business end of the church. In the end, this will result in a well rounded church family, and deeper theological messages to a congregation so that they grow to maturity in Christ. Preaching is a gift and a privilege. We must never put the preparation and the study of God’s Word aside to be to busy doing everything else except that to which we were called. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 admonishes "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to Judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching". John Piper says "We are called to be "stewards of the mysteries of God". . . And the great mystery is "Christ in you, the hope of glory." . . . And that glory is the glory of God. And "it is required of stewards that they be found faithful" - faithful in magnifying the supreme glory of the one eternal God, not magnifying as a microscope that makes small things look bigger; but as a telescope that makes unimaginably great galaxies of glory visible to the human eye".

1 comment:

Trevor Peck said...

I hope you were convicted when you wrote that post!!! I was! Thanks for the reminder brother...Preach the Word!

Love in the Truth.