As Christians, we are trying to build and encourage believers. We want to encourage unity, and increase knowledge among the members of the congregation. The question is whether preaching can get the job done. Some say yes, and others say no.
If I may speak for myself when it comes to “preaching”, often times I feel as though my message was not presented as well as it could have been. However, I look back at comments from others who remarked on my “worst performances” and said that sermon really “hit the mark” today, or “I got a lot from it”. Both the preacher and the listener have to realize that the power is not in the speaker, it is in the word of God which has been delivered truthfully. There are many great “religious” orators that deliver sermons or motivational speeches that are either lacking scripture for support, or even worse are erroneous teachings. What good did their preaching do? None! However, the most poorly given sermon which is completely accurate regarding God’s word and used in context, will still accomplish its task to a crowd seeking the truth.
Increasingly, many people and congregations are wondering whether preaching works.
Because of this belief, many congregations are considering other methods to get across their message. Some of these methods include: praise teams, drama teams, small groups (without church oversight), and counseling groups which meet at the church (without church oversight). The question must be asked, what methods were given in the scriptures for spreading the Gospel? The answer in the Bible on how to produce Christians, or how to help a Christian Grow, is preaching and teaching.
Some suggest the real work of ministry only happens in face-to-face personal relationships. It can of course work in this type of relationship and we have examples of this in the Bible. Yet, one is wrong to suggest that preaching cannot “get the job done”. Preaching has been proven to work throughout the centuries, and is recorded in numerous historical biblical accounts in the New Testament.
Every week, the whole congregation gathers to hear God’s Word and be uplifted and equipped through a sermon and the other acts of worship. During the middle of the week, another opportunity is given for the entire congregation to gather together to study and be edified. I believe that preaching and teaching still works when preachers and teachers study, pray, and deliver Biblically true sermons or Bible study classes. Preaching and teaching still work because God still speaks through His Word! Preaching and teaching still works because the power is not in the speaker. Yet, with that said, an honest heart will be affected by the most poorly presented sermon or Bible study class, if it is in agreement with God’s word and given in the manner of love and truth.