What should a preacher be known for? What is the purpose of preaching?
In a day with multimedia special effects, drama and major productions, preaching and preachers have fallen on hard times. Many churches have canceled Sunday evening services because people won’t come back to hear the preacher. With the glut of TV preachers, the country preacher struggles and suffers when his people compare him to “Brother Spit and Polish.”
What’s a called man to do?
First of all, he should remember preaching is a divine calling.
It is not a job. It’s not something you do because you are too stupid to do anything else. H. D. McDonald wrote “a godly preacher is not the organ of a human fraternity, but the oracle of a divine Gospel.”
The great expositor G. Campbell Morgan said: “The only way in which a man can possibly enter the ministry is when the Holy Spirit of God bestows upon him a gift from the Head of the church. By that gift he is made a minister of Jesus Christ.” Paul makes it clear that pastor-teachers are one of God’s gifts to the Church. I’ve seen some churches treat pastors like hired hands and pay them like slave labor. It’s obvious by the way many congregations and deacon bodies treat their pastor that they have no clue he is a man with a sovereign commission from God.
If a young pastor forgets his divine call, he will soon drop out of seminary discouraged and disillusioned.
If a pastor going through mid-life forgets his call, he will leave his wife and kids, his ministry or both.
Anytime the preacher forgets who he is really serving and who he ultimately answers to, he is on the road to ruin and despair.
It is a true statement—preachers don’t get paid for what they do, they get paid for what they put up with.
If a farmer had a stubborn mule, he’d kick it, sell it or kill it. If a preacher has a stubborn church member, he’s supposed to listen every time the donkey opens his mouth. Farmers can separate sheep and goats; pastors can’t. More than one preacher has been run off from a country church by an old goat that thought he was a sheep.
Another factor for the preacher to consider is his doctrine and exposition.
Preach the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He cannot chase every whim that comes along. He must not surrender to preaching to felt needs. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Faith doesn’t come by making people feel better about their depravity. Discipleship doesn’t come in cherry-flavored, bite-sized drops. Preaching is not a mixture of truth, pop psychology, human reasoning, humor, Dear Abby and a devotional thought. Preaching is the exposition of Scripture.
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.