Preaching presents the wonderful opportunity to talk about Jesus, a lot. Paul told the Corinthian church that he came to preach only Christ (1 Corinthians 2:2). It is the Good News that contains the power to save the world (Romans 1:16). The greatest joy in life is seeing lives changed by the preaching of the “unfathomable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8).
I LOVE PREACHING BECAUSE OF THE MANDATE
When one chooses to preach, the mandate is clear. “Preach the Word…” (2 Timothy 4:1-2) “Woe is me, if I do not preach the Gospel of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 9:16) I recently heard one of the greatest preachers I know make the following passionate plea; “If you are not going to preach the Word of God, please get out of the way.” We have no call or no right to preach anything other than the Word of God.
I LOVE PREACHING BECAUSE OF THE MOTIVATION
The motivation for preaching the Word is the understanding of what Jesus did for us on the cross (Galatians 6:14) and the fact that God chose preaching to be the vehicle through which the message of salvation would be delivered (1 Corinthians 1:21). The motivation for preaching should not be money, popularity, or the praise of men. We should be motivated only by the cross of our Lord.
I LOVE PREACHING BECAUSE OF THE MINISTRY
Being a preacher offers the added benefit of the freedom of ministering to those in need. Paul told Timothy, “…fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5) He means, pack it full, fill your life with service to others. Our Savior came to minister to those around Him and to teach us how to minister (John 13).
I LOVE PREACHING BECAUSE OF THE MEMBERS
It is my conviction that the best people in the world are people who are a part of the church of our Lord. It has been a tremendous blessing to preach in four churches during the past thirty years. To be able to share in the joys and sorrows of others is a great blessing. To watch young Christians grow and mature in the walk with God provides unspeakable joy. To see families becoming stronger in the Lord is a great source of encouragement. To this day we have very close friends who are a part of every church we have served.
Don’t get me wrong, we have known our share of “stinkers” through the years, but isn’t that true of any work that one does. The vast majority of the people we have worked with over the years have been “the cream of the crop.” We have been proud to work among the people of God. We have been treated with kindness and love everywhere we have been.
In the church where we labor now, we have some wonderful friends who continually bless our lives. We would do anything for them and we know they would do anything for us. Some advocate that preachers should not or cannot develop close friendships with people in their “local work.” That has not been our experience. As every Bible student knows, Jesus had some close friends (Apostle’s) and even some closer friends (the inner circle). I know the close friendships we have enjoyed with church members through the years have made us rich!
I LOVE PREACHING BECAUSE OF THE MEN WHO PREACH
The fraternity of preachers is a unique circle. As a child I remember being introduced to some of the great preachers in the church. They were giants in my mind who stood tall. These larger than life men encouraged me to become a preacher and my debt to them is great.
The same could be said of the men who mentored me in my early years of preaching. Some of them have gone on the be with the Lord, and they are missed. The impressions they made on a young preacher were powerful. The older preachers who have been and are a part of my life cause me to want to preach more and work more for the Lord. Knowing the sacrifices they have made to make the “preaching life” easier for those of us who follow them is a sobering thought.
They preached for little pay often under the most difficult situations. They have literally spent their lives in serving the Lord. They are an inspiration. I have little empathy for some of my peers who criticize older preachers for their “lack of education”, etc. These men who have paved the way deserve our respect, admiration, and gratitude. Praise God for the lessons they teach. It is a true maxim that we are standing on the shoulders of giants.
I am also thankful for a new, younger generation of preachers who are busy about the task of preaching the Word. It is refreshing to see a new crop of preachers who are passionate about the work of the Lord. These young preachers have a strong desire to make their world better. They love to talk about Jesus to everyone around them. They are evangelists and they bring a renewed hope to the world.
It would be impossible to write this section of this article without mentioning the men who have been/are my peers. My closest friends in this world (outside of my on family) are preachers. It is a tremendous blessing to spend time in study, prayer, and fellowship with them. There is a group of preachers who mean the world to me. I can call them or they me at any time. Thank you my brothers for showing me the love of Christ.
I thank God every day for the opportunity to be involved in the greatest work in the world. It is not without it’s struggles, but that could certainly be said about any work that any person does. However, in my life the multiplied blessings have outnumbered the struggles many times over.
Thank you dear Father, for the opportunity to be a preacher. Thank You for the relationships that have been enjoyed through the years. Thank You for the gift of sharing in the joys and sorrows of so many lives. Dear God, thank you for the men who proclaim Your Word every week. Thank You for the example of those who have gone ahead and for the hope of those yet to preach. Thank You, Father for Your amazing Word and the power it contains to change lives!