Some seem to believe that preachers are not necessary, in fact, that they can be burdens at times. This is not the view of God. The Lord himself was a preacher (Luke 4:43). Every apostle preached, for that was their commission (Mark 16:15). In every passage of the Bible we find that God was pleased with those who faithfully proclaim his word. It is no different today. Our view of preaching should rise to God’s view.
Perhaps some think less of preachers because they do not understand the work of the preacher and become disappointed or disillusioned when the preacher does not meet their expectations. Or, perhaps it is individual preachers who do not understand God’s charge for them that causes frustration among members. And, of course, it can simply be that preachers are human just like all others and make mistakes. This last will be a perpetual problem because preachers are human. But, the mistakes made by preachers should be less as they mature in their work. The other two problems can be solved.
Just as God ordained that men preach, so he has given divine instructions for the preacher. While many passages touch upon the work and life of the preacher three letters directly address his work and life. These are Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. Is it not true that if a preacher is faithful to the task God has given, that this preacher ought to be considered faithful by all men and women? Every member of the body should consider carefully the work of the preacher. This will help the preacher grow, help the elders encourage that growth, and cause members to be satisfied with the faithful preacher [even though he still will not be perfect]. Consider three important parts of his work.
The preacher must give attention to study (1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 2:15). If you have an expectation not outlined by the Bible ask yourself if you are taking away the opportunity of the preacher to study and grow. Why not fulfill the task yourself, or give opportunity to another to serve?
The preacher must be an example to the church "in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12). This godly pattern will be natural for the man who spends time in study and prayer. He will be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29).
The preacher must preach the word, with authority (2 Tim. 4:1-4; 1 Tim. 4:11). Too many read works of men and allow those words to compromise the inspired truth. Preachers must be men of The Book, and exercise caution in the use of other books. The preaching of the word must be done without partiality, favoring none and faithful to God.
Read the three letters instructing preachers. In them you will find the ‘job description’ of the preacher and many actions he must insist you fulfill. As you do this look about and find some man you can encourage to become a faithful preacher of the Gospel. We need multitudes more.
By Greg Weston
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