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preaching article Six Ways to Raise Up Preachers in Your Church

Six Ways to Raise Up Preachers in Your Church

based on 11 ratings
Feb 28, 2012

Are you recognizing that your presence in the pulpit is not what will make or break your church? Are you becoming more concerned about the next generation of preachers? I hope so. But you may be wondering, “How can I accomplish that?” The following are some tips that may be of some help to you.

Expect More of Leaders

Do you have a plurality of elders? You should. It’s biblical and healthy for you and your church. Although I can’t persuasively argue that the qualification that an elder be “able to teach” (1 Tim. 3:2) requires public preaching, why not seek to equip your current elders to be able to do so? Why not see to it that future elders are at least growing in this regard? Teaching and authority typically go together. Share leadership by sharing the pulpit. It will refresh you and bless your congregation. Train your leaders to preach. 

Recruit Preachers Among You

This may seem obvious, but if you desire to raise up preachers, those men probably won’t come and find you. You need to dig them up. Men are in your church who feel called to preach, but they don’t think the opportunity exists. Some guys who have never considered it, if asked, would quickly warm up to the idea. Others may look at you like you’re crazy. Those may need to catch a vision from you about whom they could one day be in Christ’s service. After all, much of leadership is getting people to do what they don’t want to do. Find men who are high in character and conviction. Challenge them to preach. Work with them on the competency part of the equation. Be determined to find preachers.  

Provide Preaching Opportunities

Generally speaking, a man’s first sermon shouldn’t be given in a Sunday morning worship gathering. Provide some other opportunities for him to learn and grow. At Karis, we monthly hold what we call “Leader Lab” on a Sunday afternoon. Elders, staff, and interns, plus any others who are interested, come together to listen and encourage a novice preacher. We utilize the time to prepare music leaders as well. Men preach, sometimes to fewer than ten people, and submit to feedback from the pastors and staff. This provides a safe place for a man to test and refine his gift. Perhaps you have other mid-sized meetings, like missional communities, where this could take place. Maybe your budding preacher could take the gospel to a nursing home, and you could accompany him and evaluate him there. Find such opportunities to train preachers.

Teach Men to Preach

Recently I realized I was just putting men in the pulpit, expecting them to figure out how to prepare and deliver a sermon on their own. If an aspiring preacher doesn’t have the right tools, we shouldn’t be surprised if he ends up frustrated and hurt. We began holding a preaching workshop that seeks to give men some direction in how to begin to preach. This is open to those preaching at Leader Lab, but we’ll soon open it up to anyone who is interested. We encourage the men to collaborate on their sermons, tying theirs together to a broader theme of a section of Scripture. This gives them experience in preaching as a part of a series as well. Commit to not throwing men in the deep end of the pool. Teach them to preach.

Give Helpful Evaluations

If your desire is for faithful, effective preachers, give them helpful feedback so they can grow. Provide group evaluations for the preachers in which they can hear the thoughts of others. Have lunch with the man and be honest about your thoughts. Was the text faithfully proclaimed? Was the gospel clearly presented? Was there unity and focus to the message? Be careful not to focus only on the negative. Give him words of encouragement as well. Also, be kind enough to give him an overall assessment. Is preaching a good fit or not? Should he keep working at it? No feedback, no growth.   

Let People Preach 

Allow other men to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to your congregation. Utilize natural breaks in the year (holidays, summers, etc.) to give others opportunities to preach. Again, it will be good for you, for your church, and for the kingdom. But additionally, if those men see no opportunities to preach in your body, they won’t sign up, or they’ll grow discouraged. If you want to raise up preachers in your church, you have to pry your fingers from the pulpit. Share those opportunities with others.

Ephesians 4:12 calls pastors to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” This includes raising up preachers. If you now desire this, great! However, you must build in processes and events to ensure this actually takes place. Good intentions don’t produce good preachers.

Kevin Larson is Lead Pastor of Karis Community Church in Columbia, Missouri. He is married to Amy and has three children—two boys (Hadley, 6, and Kylen, 2) and a girl (Melia, 4). You can follow him on Twitter at kevinplarson.

Talk about it...

Cara Terpening avatar
Cara Terpening
0 days ago
These are good suggestions for raising up women as preachers too.
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy avatar
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy
0 days ago
You're right Cara, any day now we're going to hit Galations 3:28. I hope it's sooner than later.
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
Good article. I spent 18 months doing pulpit supply and the last 18 months teaching weekly in my home church in an adult Sunday School Class. Those experiences have grown me tremendously.
James E. Griffis  avatar
James E. Griffis
0 days ago
How about Gods way it always seems to work best. Consider please: Proverbs 18:16 KJV 16 A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. Its seems God will make the call known.Romans 10:14-15 KJV 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! I have a simple question who send them? Will they not be more effective if god sends them? also considerProverbs 25:14 KJV 14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain. Should we not be pray that the Lord would send Labours into the harvest?
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
James---I absolutely agree that we should pray and submit to God's will in it. I can also personally attest to the fact that when I first started preaching I delivered some major stinkers. Thankfully, there was a couple of little churches that were willing to put up with me coming in every month and let me learn on the go--as did my Sunday School class. Even great preachers started somewhere, and had to learn how to get over the nerves, prepare for preaching, etc.
Gary M. Rutherford avatar
Gary M. Rutherford
0 days ago
The article was rigtht on and I'm sure pastor Lawson would agrre that the Lord must be in on that calling. As for Cara and Chaplin Shawn; the context of Ga.3:28 has nothing to do with the qualifications or calling to preach (i.e. pastor, elder, deacon); That would be 1Tim.2:11-3:15 and Tit.1:5-9. The same One who calls one to preach authored the Scriptures . . . He will not go against His own word.
Marie Haggarty avatar
Marie Haggarty
0 days ago
You will raise up more preachers if you include women.
Gary M. Rutherford avatar
Gary M. Rutherford
0 days ago
Are we following God's word or our politically correct society. God needs no help, just ask Sarah and Abraham what happens when we do. But Marie, the disturbing thing is what you do with the Scripture?
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Yep, Galatians 3:28, which is talking about our inheritence in Christ, not that women can be pastors. Great article, I let the men in my church preach on occasion on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. And around Christmas and Easter I let them bring a message on each subject. It works very well and the people get to hear a different perspective.
Lawrence Rae avatar
Lawrence Rae
0 days ago
Keep including the women. Jesus did, Paul did. If we take the time to listen to what they have to say, we realize that wisdom and gifting doesn't notice whether it is male or female, bond or free, Jew or Gentile.
R.l. Wilson avatar
R.l. Wilson
0 days ago
Out of all the articles I've read on SC this has been one of the most insightful and to which I will save for future reference. I don't know what's wrong with sharing the pulpit. It not only trains the upcoming preacher but it also gives the pastor a break, a variety to the pulpit, and an opportunity for him and the congregation to hear another preacher. The pastors whom I've seen shared their pulpits have had healthier flocks.
Sterling Franklin avatar
Sterling Franklin
0 days ago
Nice
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Yep Lawrence, keep ignoring what the Bible teaches about the roles of men and women and keep misinterpreting Galatians 2:28. I'm sure God won't mind a bit.
Gary M. Rutherford avatar
Gary M. Rutherford
0 days ago
As usual, the context of the discussion is distorted. No one is leaving women out. Jesus and Paul used women in the perimeters of Jesus' teaching, which by the way is the whole NT. Women play a very important role in our church in children's and women's ministries. But why are those minitistries not seemingly important if they are not allowed to pastor or lead men. I for one think believe they are very important. But once again, did God give us a word on church structure simply to ingnore it by our own thoughts and feelings?
R.l. Wilson avatar
R.l. Wilson
0 days ago
Out of all the articles I've read on SC this has been one of the most insightful and to which I will save for future reference. I don't know what's wrong with sharing the pulpit. It not only trains the upcoming preacher but it also gives the pastor a break, a variety to the pulpit, and an opportunity for him and the congregation to hear another preacher. The pastors whom I've seen shared their pulpits have had healthier flocks.
Stan Roam avatar
Stan Roam
0 days ago
No where in scripture are women called to preach. Only men! That is not to say that women cannot speak to a group-especially women, or do not have a capability to do so. Many women are very gifted speakers! But as a whole, it is for males to preach the gospel. Good article and helpful to me as I press forward in developing men and women to communicate the gospel. Blessings!
Stan Roam avatar
Stan Roam
0 days ago
No where in scripture are women called to preach. Only men! That is not to say that women cannot speak to a group-especially women, or do not have a capability to do so. Many women are very gifted speakers! But as a whole, it is for males to preach the gospel. Good article and helpful to me as I press forward in developing men and women to communicate the gospel. Blessings!
R.l. Wilson avatar
R.l. Wilson
0 days ago
Out of all the articles I've read on SC this has been one of the most insightful and to which I will save for future reference. I don't know what's wrong with sharing the pulpit. It not only trains the upcoming preacher but it also gives the pastor a break, a variety to the pulpit, and an opportunity for him and the congregation to hear another preacher. The pastors whom I've seen shared their pulpits have had healthier flocks.
Myron  Heckman avatar
Myron Heckman
0 days ago
Ever heard a bad sermon? Delivered a few? And plenty of mediocre ones? This is a recipe to hear a bunch more. It takes a lot of practice to develop an effective preacher (except for the gifted few). Also be prepared to create a problem of having to decline eager but ungifted volunteers. I have a rule: those who preach in our pulpit will have had a homiletics course.
Steven Farless avatar
Steven Farless
0 days ago
I love this article because I love to raise up preachers. the only difference I have: I don't like the idea of "practice preaching;"give them some people to preach to, not to perform for; the technical critiques can still be made, but 'pretending to preach' is a bad habit in and of itself.
Bruce Crane avatar
Bruce Crane
0 days ago
Preaching is sharing the good news of Christ and Him crucified! The first person to do this was a woman. She ran back from seeing Christ raised from the dead and told the men who were hiding at home all about it! I've known some women who could probably out preach the best of us! Please don't ever under estimate how God can use someone. ANYONE!
Steven Farless avatar
Steven Farless
0 days ago
I love this article because I love to raise up preachers. the only difference I have: I don't like the idea of "practice preaching;"give them some people to preach to, not to perform for; the technical critiques can still be made, but 'pretending to preach' is a bad habit in and of itself.
Steven Farless avatar
Steven Farless
0 days ago
I love this article because I love to raise up preachers. the only difference I have: I don't like the idea of "practice preaching;"give them some people to preach to, not to perform for; the technical critiques can still be made, but 'pretending to preach' is a bad habit in and of itself.
Steven Farless avatar
Steven Farless
0 days ago
I love this article because I love to raise up preachers. the only difference I have: I don't like the idea of "practice preaching;"give them some people to preach to, not to perform for; the technical critiques can still be made, but 'pretending to preach' is a bad habit in and of itself.
Steven Farless avatar
Steven Farless
0 days ago
I love this article because I love to raise up preachers. the only difference I have: I don't like the idea of "practice preaching;"give them some people to preach to, not to perform for; the technical critiques can still be made, but 'pretending to preach' is a bad habit in and of itself.
Moses Radford avatar
Moses Radford
0 days ago
God calls men to preach His Word that is what the Bible teaches. We need to let the Lord do the calling and placing men in the pulpits to preach the Word. The Lord has and will always use women to do many things but preaching and pastoring His churches are not things that the Bible supports. We must not move on our thoughts and feelings. But we are to let the Holy Spirit lead us and He will lead us in the Word.
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy avatar
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy
0 days ago
Am I correct to assume that Gary, Dennis, et al , are OK with women leading but not preaching? How else can you explain Paul's repeated use of Priscilla and Aquila?
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Shawn, 1 Tim. 2:12-13 "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve." Paul was speaking in the context of teaching in the local church. He did not prohibt women from teaching other women (Titus 2:3-4) or from teaching children (1 Tim. 2:15, 5:10) Neither is rebuke directed at Priscilla who, along with her husband, privately taught Apollos "The way of God more perfectly" (Acts 18:24-28). But Paul ABSOLUTELY reserved the teaching role in the church for men. Why? Verse 13 "For Adam was first formed, then Eve." The word "formed" means "to form or mold something as from clay or wax." It is used in Rom. 9:20 where Paul asks, "Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, 'Why hast thou made me thus?'" The emphasis is on the unquestionable right of God to order things as He sees fit. God created Adam first, then Eve. Adam was a direct creation from God: Eve was formed from that which was taken from Adam. In doing so God established an order, a primacy, a headship in human afairs. It is in perfect harmony with the Scriptures for women to instruct in the privacy of their home, or in a Sunday school class. The believing woman has a perfect right to win souls, to teach anywhere she doesn't usurp authority over the man. When it comes to matters of buisness in the church, God appointed men to take care of the affairs of the church, to PASTOR, to serve as deacons, as stewards of the church, as elders, and teachers insofar as men are concerned. This doesn't make women second class citizens. It doesn't mean we are better or smarter for that matter. It is simply the way God ordered things.
Marie Haggarty avatar
Marie Haggarty
0 days ago
I would suggest some reading from Dr. Gilbert Bilezekian on the subject of the roles of women in true biblical communities. I realize not everyone will agree with him but he gives clear arguments backed by biblical study that challenge the assumption that women should not be allowed to preach (or serve in whatever way God has gifted them).
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
I'm going to side with Dennis on this one. I don't mean any disrespect to women...but I just don't know how to get around the commandment for women not to be teachers or pastors. If we are going to be true to God's word, why are we trying to look for loopholes? Just take it for what it says. Is there really a shortage of men that are capable? Maybe that's what needs addressed.
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy avatar
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy
0 days ago
Oh, really Dennis? Thanks for pointing that out. I guess that means we're under the rule of animals since they were created first. Priscilla being named first before Aquila (BTW originally Aquila was named first), means she had headship of the church which BTW met in homes. BUt thanks for the insight on what God wants and does.
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy avatar
Chaplain Shawn Kennedy
0 days ago
Oh, really Dennis? Thanks for pointing that out. I guess that means we're under the rule of animals since they were created first. Priscilla being named first before Aquila (BTW originally Aquila was named first), means she had headship of the church which BTW met in homes. BUt thanks for the insight on what God wants and does.
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
Shawn, how would you interpret the verse? Paul states that he doesn't allow women to teach or hold authority over men because Adam was created, and then Eve. Is there any other way? Like it or not, Paul seems to be making the argument that because of the order of creation, and the fact that Eve was created as his helpmate, women are not to hold authority over or teach men. I can't see any other way to read this.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Shawn, what K B said.
Robert Sickler avatar
Robert Sickler
0 days ago
Good article. I would add, however, that it is the leader's duty to recognize when God has called someone to preach and when they called themselves to preach. There are way too many preachers who preach out of their head instead of their heart. If God has called you to preach, every time you read scripture and/or mediate on the word you will find yourself with a sermon to preach. If you do not have a congregation to preach to you will go into the woods and preach to the trees. Well, perhaps this is a bit melodramatic, but I think you get the point I am making. You cannot train someone to preach! Yes, you can hone a person's preparation and delivery skills; but, God calls a man to preach.
John E Miller avatar
John E Miller
0 days ago
I cannot understand how men who claim to be qualified to teach the word of God can choose to ignore the words that are written there in plain language. Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times in scripture. They are always mentioned together and three times Aquila is put first, while three times Priscilla is put first. This surely shows a pattern for all believing husbands and wives. It suggests a unity of love for God and an equally shared commitment to His church. There is not a shred of evidence in scripture to suggest that Priscilla taught or preached in a gathered church fellowship. What we do see is their gracious united service to Apollos in taking him "aside" (Acts 18:26) and explaining to him the way of God more exactly. That was a private service done for Christ without an audience. The fact that the Holy Spirit of God using Luke has revealed it to us shows the value that God puts on the united love for Him in a husband and wife in the testimony.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
"I cannot understand how men who claim to be qualified to teach the word of God can choose to ignore the words that are written there in plain language. " Amen John, it really blows my mind.
Anthony R. Watson avatar
Anthony R. Watson
0 days ago
As far as women preaching and teaching is concerned, I do not hold the view that Paul was writing about all women for all time. Paul was clearly writing from his own particular socio-historical-cultural background. New Testament history clearly shows that women were treated as second-class citizens in Paul's day, much like they are treated today in some patriarchal-minded churches. I am of the opinion that God doesn't have any gender issues, people do. If God can cause a donkey to speak, surely He can use a women to proclaim His Word. The time is come for the three "isms" of the church to end: (1) sexism, (2) classism, and (3) racism. Is God an equal opportunity employer? I will emphatically say YES.
Robert Sickler avatar
Robert Sickler
0 days ago
When you believe that the bible changes with a change in culture you no longer have a truthful record of God's will for mankind. If the bible is not the complete, final and accurate revelation of God's will it is just another collection of religious writings that came from the mind of man. There is little profit in debating the wisdom of man.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Anthony, where does it say in the WORD OF GOD that what Paul was saying about women not usurping the authority of men was only for his day? Can you give me chapter and verse where Paul says this command is only in effect right now but the day will come when women can preach and be pastors in churches? Sorry, but your "opinion" doesn't count.
John E Miller avatar
John E Miller
0 days ago
Mr Watson's beliefs are those espoused by the "gay lobby". Homosexual marriage is a huge issue in the United Kingdom at the moments, as also elsewhere. The basic assertion of those who subscribe to the apostasy promoted by Mr Watson is that the Holy Spirit of God had no idea of how the world would progress in its socio-historical-cultural enlightenment in the 21st century. Mr Watson does not believe in an omniscient God or he would not spout such heretical rubbish. If you think I am being harsh, read God's word. Read Revelation 22:18-19.

So, what did you think?


Thank you.