"He Ain't Just Fishin'..."
I’ve always known that preaching is a holy vocation. There is that aspect that we are ALL called to proclaim the Gospel, but we also cannot get around or deny the fact that God calls certain men, in particular, to preach, teach, and exposit the Gospel in two ways:
1. To the congregation (teaching/preaching), and also
2. THROUGH the congregation, TO the world (equipping)
At no point in a person’s life, before they are saved or after, do they not need to hear the Gospel continually rehearsed to them, taught to them, in short: PREACHED. From cradle to grave, may the Gospel be heard and loved and elevated and preached!
If we value The Message of the Gospel, to that exact level, we will value the preaching of it. We will support it, promote it, and put ourselves in front of it to hear it. Every generation tries to say “preaching is irrelevant in our day” – yet the foolishness of preaching will forever be the vehicle or the tool God uses to save and nourish souls until Christ comes again. In our day of computers and smart phones, preaching is more relevant than ever.
Please read that last sentence one more time.
Does this “elevate” the Preacher himself? Not if he has addicted himself to preaching, as my Preacher has. “Woe is me, if I preach not the Gospel!” He’s just feeding his addiction.
At the same time, we can’t deny the fact that some callings have vested in them a contingency that involves eternal souls…souls are contingent on proper Preaching of the Gospel, and the correct application of the law of God...
…just as outcomes are contingent on a lawyer being a good lawyer. The same as quality of life can be contingent on a doctor being a good, caring, skilled physician, souls are won and then souls are fed by a preacher who is skilled and courageous and faithful. How important is this vocation! As much as we need plumbers, a soul isn’t contingent on a plumber getting his plumbing right. Souls are contingent when the plumber PREACHES the Gospel to someone else, which hopefully he is being equipped by his church leadership to do.
I say this, not because I am all about my husband. I say this, not because I am the Preacher’s wife. I say this because I too have addicted myself to sharing the Gospel. The Message (not Eugene Peterson's, but THE Message) is a fire shut up in my bones. And I am revisiting the fact that a faithful and courageous (and accurate) Preacher is God’s Idea. Preaching should be AS valued a Profession – more valued, dare I say, (which is SO NOT politically correct to say) – as any other…not because of the man, but because of the Message.
For the sake of the Gospel.
So next time someone says, “We are all called to preach – preaching doesn’t make a man special.” We, as well taught believers, should understand their heart. We “get” what they mean, and should find a certain level of agreement with the statement. But we must also find a certain level of disagreement with that statement. Because we deeply value the Message, we instinctively and reasonably deeply value both the act of preaching, and a man who gives his life to the call.
Preaching will always be relevant. Preaching will always be necessary to our lives. I challenge you to impress this on your children and your teenagers – this importance of Preaching. May a culture of honor be further developed in churches everywhere that deeply values the preaching of the Gospel – valuing it almost to a fault, if that is even possible. Why?
Because that is part of the equipping process. WE WILL NOT USE TOOLS WE DON’T ESTEEM FOR REASONS WE ARE NOT PASSIONATE ABOUT. If we first are passionate about the Message, if we begin to highly esteem and honor preaching as being “the foolish tool” God uses, we will then begin to really listen to,and be fed by preaching. THEN, I promise we will begin to open our own mouths to share The Message.
No School Like the Old School. Preaching is what’s up!!!