Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

TPF Preview: Preaching is More Than Lecturing

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.

Here is a sneak peek at a the paper Dr Pierre Constant will be presenting at the TPF meeting this Monday (February 9)

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:

  1. Why do so many preachers find it so easy to lecture rather than preach?
  2. What (if anything) should we endeavour to learn from lecturers / lecture techniques that we can apply to preaching?
  3. Why are so many churches content with preachers who lecture?

2 Comments

  1. I have encountered a pastor who said to his church that preaching was ‘just talking’. The women in the pulpit preaching social sermons and false doctrine were evidence of the deficiency of his view. He said it to be humble, and to assuage the nerves of people to come up on stage and speak to the congregation, that is what I believe. But it was wrongheaded.

    Public speakers aim to avoid public humiliation. Pastors aim to avoid being humiliated yes, for the wrong reasons; but preaching the Word is their first concern and that requires that the first desire must necessarily be at times thrown by the wayside (even in front of congregations).

    Similarly, I think that some pastors get so enthused about teaching theology that they forget that their congregation needs living theology, not a lecture on theology. I would state my life on the fact that knowing the 5 solas or the 5 pts of Calvin has not saved many a soul from Hell.

    Pastors pretending to “just talk” are equally as arrogant as the ones pretending to teach living theology (Spirit Theology).

    Preaching is most definitely, not lecturing, and certainly not “just talking”. Good choice Justin and good job Dr. Constant!

  2. *Julian* 😛 my apologies!

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