A Plea for Preaching of the Word of God

Tuesday is for Preaching

For five years before coming to Illinois to plant a church planting church, I taught preaching at a seminary in California. I left the seminary to plant a church that would plant churches and be committed to the exposition of books of the Bible. I was and am convinced that God’s people need authoritative teaching, from gifted teachers, on a regular and systematic basis.

  • But this does not mean that those gifted teachers need to be seminary trained. (I’m not against seminary training. I have taught at 3 seminaries, studied at four,  have multiple seminary degrees and I’m working on another.)
  • It does not mean that they need to know Greek and Hebrew. (I minored in Greek in College, love Hebrew and think both languages are important and helpful to the task. I just don’t think they are necessarily necessary.)
  • It does not mean that they can’t be young and relatively inexperienced. (Or old and experienced, or old and inexperienced.)
  • It doesn’t mean that the environment in which that teaching occurs always looks like a pulpit on Sunday morning.

So let’s have a discussion about what is necessary to sound, authoritative preaching of the word of God.

Question:
What should we look for, what should we cultivate, what sets apart great teachers of the word of God?


3 thoughts on “A Plea for Preaching of the Word of God

  1. I agree with the need for expository preaching. What does it take? I think it takes someone who is gifted by God for that work, which must include love for God, his glory and his word, a love for people, good reading skills or instincts, and a broken/humble desperation that both works hard and depends on God’s power. Seminary is best at giving tools to people to augment their reading skills, but the rest is also vital.

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  2. What should we look for, what should we cultivate, what set apart great teachers of the word of God?

    First and foremost, each of us needs to have fluency in God’s word. That comes best by immersion. In the same way that I have studied foreign languages by being in an environment in which I used only that language, I have learned the Word of God by daily reading and, as often as possible, listening to an audio Bible — that is the sound within my car most of the time I’m driving. Formal study may help, but is not necessary to be effective. There may be some situations in which formal study would be a barrier to effective communication.

    Second is a life that models what we want to teach. Not a life of legalistic obedience to the LAW, but a life guided by the law written on our hearts. A life of love that demonstrates to those who observe us that we are children of the King!

    Finally, we must be willing to share the message that God has given us. That may be in casual conversation with a friend or a stranger, or it may be in a formal setting such as my occasional service as lay speaker.

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    1. Two great responses guys.
      Neal, I love your mention of “good reading skills”. I think this is an aspect of teaching and interpretation that is overlooked. Humility and a desperate dependence on the Holy Spirit is also a critical part of any preachers life.

      Myron, always a great day when your wisdom weighs in. How can a preacher preach with any authority or blessing from God when his family is falling apart form neglect, abuse or ignorance?

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