The Goal of Preaching

In the latest edition of The Christian Chronicle, there is a great interview about preaching that every preacher should read (especially you younger preachers out there).

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The interview is with David Wilson, who is the Senior Minister for Kings Church of Christ in Brooklyn, NY.  Here’s a portion of the interview:

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As a preacher, how do you define your role in the church?

Paul’s instruction to Timothy and Titus are sound directives for any preacher, in particular an evangelist.

The evangelist is charged with preaching the Word in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 and Titus 2:1-9. This is a solemn charge that should stir the heart of an evangelist.  

1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-16  teach that the evangelist is to develop leaders. “Set things in order” is a clear statement of authority and responsibility. It goes hand in hand with the obligation to preach the Word. 

The gifts of evangelists and pastors are to empower the church for works of service. The evangelist is tasked with the function of both ordaining qualified men to be elders or deacons and disciplining them if they disqualify themselves (1 Timothy 5:17-25).

While it is problematic for a leader to become dictatorial, it is equally problematic to regulate such a high calling to a hired hand, paid to preach.

What should be the goal of preaching today?

The Great Commission and Paul’s charge to Timothy encapsulate my philosophy of preaching.

• Evangelism: Preach and teach the Word with the goal of bringing someone to a decision to follow Christ. People need salvation desperately. Preaching Jesus and him crucified is still the solution.  

• Edification: The life of Jesus is a transformative example. Christians must be taught how to live the abundant life in Christ through exposition of the Word.

• Correction: Christianity is the supreme philosophy above all other lifestyles, perspectives or practical doctrines. Learning this supreme philosophy often requires us to confront old ways and worldly attitudes. This is what preaching is designed to do — confront and expose sin and bring a believer to repentance and greater commitment.  

• Hope: The Word is filled with hope. People need hope. This is the essence of the Gospel, the good news of salvation. Helping people to see past their present crisis, to envision and anticipate healing, deliverance and peace is the joy of preaching. 

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In the interview, Wilson also addresses how he determines what needs to be preached to his congregation, his process of preparing a sermon, and some issues of race.  You can read the full interview here.

Keep preaching the Word, David!

 

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