Summary: Pastors have a duty to preach for life change; the hearers are responsible to listen for life change.
God’s Glorious Church
Pastors: Leading as Preachers
Woodlawn Baptist Church
March 13, 2005
One of the most important duties of the man whom God has called is to be a preacher and teacher of God’s Word – to proclaim to you and to others, “Thus saith the Lord!” In this message I want to deal specifically with the pastor’s duty to lead as a preacher of God’s Word. It is my goal to help you know what God expects of His preachers, and what you can do to get the most out of preaching.
Before we look at the text, let’s talk about what it means to lead, because the only way to understand true Biblical preaching is to understand it in light of God’s definition of leadership. Man’s way of leadership is for each of you and everyone else to serve me so that I accomplish my goals. If I wanted to be a famous preacher, then I would use you and you would serve me so that I accomplished that goal. But God’s way of leadership is vastly different. His way of leadership demands that I serve you so that His goals are accomplished.
What are God’s goals? His chief goal or aim is for every man, woman, boy and girl to glorify Him. Now we know that everyone will glorify God, whether they want to or not. But God’s desire is that we purpose in our hearts to glorify Him. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind.” It isn’t until a man knows the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior that he can really love God like that, and even after salvation not many genuinely desire to put God first in their lives. In other words, even after salvation, relatively few people purpose in their hearts to glorify God. It is something they must grow in. As you grow in Christlikeness so does your desire for the glory of God.
Now, if God’s way of leadership is for me to serve you so that His goals are accomplished, then my task as a leader is to serve you, or minister to you so that you know and grow: so that each of you knows Christ as your personal Savior and so that each of you who knows Christ grows in your relationship with Him so that you are conformed to the image of Christ. My job as a pastor, as a servant leader is to see to your spiritual transformation, and God has determined that his men perform that work through the vehicle of preaching.
Preach Preacher Preach!
In 2 Timothy 4:1-5, the apostle Paul said to the young preacher Timothy,
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and they shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
A man in the church choir couldn’t sing. Several people hinted to him that he could serve in other places, but he continued to come to the choir. The choir director became desperate and went to the pastor.
“You’ve got to get that man out of the choir,” he said. “If you don’t, the choir members are going to quit. Please do something.”
So the pastor went to the man and suggested, “Perhaps you should leave the choir.”
“Why should I get out of the choir?” he asked.
“Well, five or six people told me you can’t sing,” answered the pastor.
“That’s nothing,” the man snorted, “At least 50 people have told me that you can’t preach!”
I wish I could say that all of what goes on in this pulpit could be called dynamic and inspirational preaching, but I know that not every Sunday do I have on my “game face.” For your sakes I have desired the oratory skills of a Paul, the boldness of a Peter and the wisdom of Christ Himself, but I have to remind myself that God has not called me to be those men: He has called me to preach.
Of all the important things a pastor is called on by God and his church to do, it would be difficult to place any higher than that of his duty to preach. We all like to have a good time when we come to the Lord’s house, but when it gets right down to it our purpose here is of the utmost importance. A careful look at our text shows that…