One of the best things about serving with the Toronto Pastors Fellowship is that I get to read the papers ahead of time. I thought that this time I might share a tiny, little bit of that blessing with you.
There are dozens of discussion-worthy ideas in the paper, but since this section in particular relates to a discussion we had here not too long ago (see Preaching vs. Lecturing), I thought I’d throw this out there as well.
As said earlier, preaching preparation involves a number of elements, from careful study of words and texts to careful study of the needs of congregations, so that when, as pastors, we are addressing the family of God, the body of Christ is built up, equipped and motivated to worship God and to serve Christ in the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.
More specifically, preaching involves teaching, motivating, correcting, guiding, leading the people of God to serve Him with joy and thankfulness, with the intention of bringing glory to the only One worthy of any glory. Paul wrote: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord” (2 Cor 4.6).
Moreover, when we do preach, we do more than lecture or communicate content. We equip, motivate, encourage people to act upon what they hear. We bring the family of God to worship Christ and be transformed unto His image.
Preaching, then, is more than lecturing because its aim is higher than merely bringing the hearers to an understanding of the material presented. The preacher is pastoring the people of God and moving them by the Word of God and the power of the Spirit to glory an and ultimately reflect the Creator-Redeemer God.
The argument might be said that the comparison between preaching and lecturing is apples and oranges, since preaching is an entirely spiritual task, empowered by the Spirit of God himself.
But this, then, begs at least a couple questions:
- Why do so many preachers find it so easy to lecture rather than preach?
- What (if anything) should we endeavour to learn from lecturers / lecture techniques that we can apply to preaching?
- Why are so many churches content with preachers who lecture?