Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why is preaching still important?

(St. Paul preaching in Athens)
I have been thinking a lot lately about preaching in the North American Church and questioning why I have such a deep passion for it. As I was driving home from visiting a new coffee house(St. Mark’s Coffee House) on Saturday night with Amy we began to talk about preaching in church, and how I was excited to hear one of my favorite professors preach at Mission Hills Church the next morning. I was excited to hear this particular professor preach since he is the main preaching professor at Denver Seminary. This got me thinking and talking with Amy about my passion for preaching and how I hope to one day be a very Godly and impactful preacher.  
I have really felt that God has been giving me more of a desire to preach throughout this last year. I haven’t really been able to put my finger on why this is or what this means for my future as a pastor, but I have definitely been interested in the idea of a preaching pastor However, while talking with Amy I realized that part of the reason I am passionate about preaching is due to the fact that I am passionate about reaching people for Christ. I want to see people live more authentic and Godly lives on a daily basis. It hit me that as a pastor one of the main areas you are allowed to speak into people’s lives is through your sermon on Sunday mornings. Sure you will get lunch with people in your congregation throughout the week, but the majority of people will not have time or seek out meetings with the pastor during the week. 
I believe that most of the people who do seek out additional time with pastors are often those who have a good relationship with the Lord. I realized that I want to preach because I want to inspire people to grow closer to the Lord. I want to challenge people to think through what they believe and be able to articulate it clearly. I want to teach people to understand the Bible clearly and to recognize the importance that the Bible still has in our lives today. And most importantly, I want to preach because I want to serve God whole heartedly with my gifts and talents, and I believe this is an area he has gifted me in and is continuously cultivating in my life.
As I look towards beginning another semester of school in the fall I am trying to be wise with my time off this summer. I am reading some books on preaching, I bought the videos from a conference on the art of preaching and I am watching some podcast of impactful preachers. My prayer is that through spending the time researching, reading and listening to preachers I will be able to cultivate the gifts God has given me. If you have any suggestions on books to read related to preaching or preachers to listen to I would welcome any and all suggestions. God bless.

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