Disclaimers: Over the next few weeks I am going to be posting my thoughts about the science and art of preaching. Two things I want to say up front:
- I am not writing this material I think I am personally a great preacher. I think of myself more like a coach. The coach (at times) is the overweight guy on the sidelines yelling at the players, but his perspective and experience can make each player and the team as whole better.
- I know that not all of you who follow this blog are Preachers. But, it’s my blog and I can post what want. 🙂
With that said, let’s begin…
What is Preaching?
According to Mounce the most common Greek word translated preach, kēryssō means to proclaim, tell, often urging acceptance of the message, with warnings of consequences for not doing so.
Preaching is different from reading, teaching, or dialoging. We get a hint of this in 2 Timothy 1:10–11, when Paul writes, “[Christ] abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.”
Notice that there is a difference in those three tasks…
- As an Apostle Paul was to Record the Truth
- As a Teacher Paul was to Explain the Truth
- But as a Preacher – Paul was to Herald or Proclaim the Truth.
Preaching is an authoritative declaration.
John Piper described it this way – Preaching is what a town crier does when there is a message from the king. He gathers a group of people and says, “Here ye, hear ye, be it known to you today that by royal order of his highness, the king, there will henceforth be granted to this town an imperial watch of one hundred soldiers to protect you from the rebel bands who plunder the king’s subjects.” And a cheer goes up among the people. (Those are the amen’s of the congregation.) And he continues, “Furthermore be it known to you that the cost for this protection shall be born not by taxation but by the beneficence of the king from his royal treasury!” Again cheers! (Amen!) “Moreover, the king would have you know that he loves you, his loyal subjects, and will use all his royal counsel and power to defend you and supply your wants.” Again cheers. (Amen! Amen!) “And lastly he sends through me his royal blessing. Blessed be the people whose trust is in the king!” Cheers. (Amen!)
Preaching is more than teaching – it is, heralding a message. Preaching is one man standing and speaking with authority to others. Preaching is calling people to account. A.W. Tozer said, “We come not as diplomats but as prophets and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.”
Preaching, however, in and of itself is arrogant and meaningless unless it is saturated with truth. That is why the Apostle Paul urged his young protege in the faith to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2). Thus, the content of the sermon is vastly more important than any aspect of it’s delivery.
So in this series of posts I am referring to preaching in this sense – a man compelled by the Holy Spirit to deliver a message that accurately and authoritatively explains the truth of God’s eternal word.