Centrality of Preaching
By Wil Pounds
What is the main priority of the minister of the
The preacher must be certain of his own relationship to Jesus
Christ and must maintain a strong personal devotional life.
The most effective preachers believe in the centrality of
preaching. They recognize the primary task of the church and the Christian
minister is the proclamation of the Word of God. Preaching is primary and
only it is essential. If a minister does not believe this he will not give
sufficient time for preparation and his pulpit ministry will suffer. This in
no way implies that he is not also responsible for administration, counseling,
Christian education, visitation, etc.
The preacher must be absolutely clear on the question of the
inspiration of the Bible and the total authority of the Word of God. There
is an excellent statement on Biblical inerrancy and inspiration in
Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Great preaching, true
preaching, comes form a personal conviction that the truth of the Scriptures
is what God uses to transform the lives of men, women and youth. If the
preacher does not have deep abiding conviction about the Word of God then he
should pursue a different vocation.
When we preach from the Bible we are dealing with facts;
therefore, present them as facts. God has spoken and still speaks through
factual history. Let the Bible tell its own eternal message.
The effective Biblical preacher presents clearly the great
doctrines of Scriptures. Otherwise we will perpetuate an ignorant church.
This requires a minister who is committed to his own intellectual and
spiritual growth. A. S. Peak said he was “a theological middleman.” He took
the great Biblical truths and put them in simple terms that he understood
and taught his people the same.
The effective minister is a model for others who are called of
God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dorothy Sayers wrote: “The tools of learning are the
same in any and every subject; and to the person who knows how to use them
will, at any age, gets the mastery of a new subject in half the time and with
a quarter of the effort expected by the person who had not the tools at his
Preparation for preaching is liken to what Winston
Churchill said about the task of writing. “If you sit waiting for
inspiration, you will sit waiting until you are an old man. Writing is like
any other job—like marching an army, for instance. If you sit down and wait
until the weather is fine, you won’t get far with your troops. Kick
yourself; irritate yourself; but write; it’s the only way.”
The Biblical preacher does not have to wait around for
inspiration. He has the inspired Word of God. Choose a book in the Bible and
get busy studying it. It will preach itself if you will master its contents.
The preacher needs to go to work like any workingman must go to work.
Wil Pounds (c) 2005. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the
author's written consent. Scripture quotations from the New American
Standard Bible (c) 1973, 1995 Update, The Lockman Foundation.