Mark 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (NIV)
Preaching has always been at the heart of the Christian Church ever since it was established. The Good News of the Gospel has been constantly proclaimed in every nation and generation since the time of Christ sending out His disciples. Without preaching, Christianity would never have expanded beyond Judah and Galilee. With preaching, even people who live in the remotest areas of the world can hear and respond to Christ’s mission.
In a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, the quality of sermons was the number #1 reason why people choose to go to church. Even after two thousand years of progress, technological advances, and sophisticated communication gadgets, preaching still draws people to Christ. I guess this is why Jesus sent out His disciples to preach in order to continue His mission on Earth. Preaching was, still is, and possibly always will be the bridge between God’s Word and Christ’s people.
You may think that as a preacher, I am personally biased about this. To some degree that may be true, however, it places a serious burden of responsibility on me to preach the Gospel truth, even though I may not want to because some folks in the pews may not like to hear what God has given me to say. It would be only too easy to preach a message of being nice, pleasant, and courteous to one another, but the Gospel of Christ is often hard to proclaim, tough to receive, and difficult to embrace. If this wasn’t the case, Jesus would never have been crucified.
As each Sunday approaches, I and preachers like me greatly appreciate the prayers of the people for both the preparation and presentation of the sermon. It is a unique opportunity to teach the faith, preach the truth, and help the church. It is also a solemn responsibility to present God’s Word and reveal Christ’s Way for the world, as it always has been for almost two thousand years. J
Point to ponder
How does preaching affect my faith? What is the best sermon I have heard?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, be with your preachers throughout the Earth who are busy preparing their sermons. Let Your Spirit guide their words and may Your people be inspired by all that is truly proclaimed. Bless us all through Your Holy Word. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. You can read the church website at www.erinpresbyterian.org.
Today’s is image is one of John’s latest Pentecost drawings called ‘Spirit of ‘17’. You can view a larger version at this link: Spirit17.