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Why Preaching Matters More Than We Think

Preaching matters!  Preaching matters to God.  Preaching matters to God because people matter to God!  In some ways, it doesn’t matter as much as we believe, but in others, it matters more than we can imagine.

There is debate in the church world today about the importance or effectiveness of preaching.  Some say that the days of preaching are over.  That people don’t learn or respond to “sermons” anymore like they used to.  There is a push among many people for communal learning in a group setting rather than one lone communicator on the platform.

Preaching matters! Preaching matters to God. Preaching matters to God because people matter to God! Click To Tweet

Obviously, there is a great need for communal learning.  As we say at Element Church all the time, we aren’t meant to do life alone.  We are made for community and we grow in community.  But this doesn’t mean that preaching doesn’t matter.  It’s not an either or, it’s a both and.

I take very seriously the great privilege and responsibility of preaching.  It is not lost on me that God has called me to stand before His people on a weekly basis and communicate the truth of His Word to them.  That weight leads me to pray, prepare and practice in a way that honors God, His Word and the people who will benefit from the message.

I know that in my humanity, even when I’m giving it my all, I can completely mess a sermon up.  I can misspeak, make mistakes, mess up my words and God can still use that message to impact someone’s heart.  So I understand that the message doesn’t depend on me.  But I also understand the power God can unleash in a message through this fallible man.

There are a couple of Scriptures that I pray over myself and our church every Sunday before I preach.  I believe these things were not just saved for the men in the Bible, but they can happen for us today as well.  God, throughout church history, has used preaching as his main avenue of communicating His truth to the world.  Just recently, we were reminded of the indelible mark God can make on history through one preacher when Billy Graham passed away.

Here are four reasons I believe preaching matters greatly in the Church.

1.  Preaching matters because preaching pierces.

Preaching matters because preaching pierces the heart. Click To Tweet

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached his very first sermon.  No training.  No degree.  No preparation.  I don’t recommend that.  I believe God honors preparation.  But filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter preaches a sermon.  After that sermon we are told this:

Acts 2:37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

The preaching was so powerful that it pierced peoples hearts and they asked, “What should we do?”  Now that is a response.  No invitation needed.  The people sought out the invitation before it was even given.  Preaching matters, because, through our preaching, God can pierce people’s hearts.

Every week, I ask God to pierce people’s hearts through our preaching.  This one sermon, by the way, led to perhaps the biggest baptism service our world has ever seen.

2.  Preaching matters because preaching proves. 

Preaching matters because preaching proves. Click To Tweet

In Acts chapter 9, Saul begins preaching to the Jews in Damascus.  Remember, this was the city he was headed toward to persecute more Christians when Christ appeared to him on the road, blinded him, called him into ministry and saved his soul.  After that, Saul begins to preach in the same city he intended to persecute.

Acts 9:22  Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

Two things:  First, I love that our preaching can get more powerful.  Paul grew and learned in his preaching.  He got better.  He improved.  The way you preach today doesn’t have to be the way you preach forever.  Seek to get better!  God honors that.

The way you preach today doesn't have to be the way you preach forever. Click To Tweet

Second, it was through Saul’s preaching that God proved Jesus was the Messiah.  Preaching proves.  There are so many lies people believe today about God, His Word, and the faith.  God, through our preaching, can prove His Truth to an unbelieving world.

3.  Preaching matters because preaching pours.

Preaching matters because preaching pours. Click To Tweet

In Acts chapter 10, Peter has received the vision of unclean food on the sheet.  (Praise the Lord for bacon)  He is told to go with the men that would show up at his door to the home of Cornelius.  Cornelius was a Gentile.  Until this point, Jews didn’t associate with Gentiles. The Gospel was still reserved for Jewish people.  It was now about to be unleashed to the entire world.

Acts 10:44  says Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.

For the first time, the Holy Spirit was poured out on non-Jewish people.  If you’re a preacher, you’ve experienced a “pouring” moment.  You can’t predict it, you can’t plan for it, you can only respond to it.  It’s that moment where God just pours Himself out in the room and you don’t even know why.

God, through preaching, wants to pour out His Holy Spirit upon the Church.  Yes, He pours in other ways as well, but I want to be always aware that in my preaching, God can pour Himself out on the room.

4.  Preaching matters because preaching produces.  

Preaching matters because preaching produces. Click To Tweet

In Acts chapter 14, Paul and Barnabas continue their initial missionary journey.  They have been to Cyprus, Paphos, Perga and Antioch preaching the Gospel with great results.  While in Antioch, they go to the synagogue and preach the Good News.

Acts 13:42 says As Paul and Barnabas left the synagogue that day, the people begged them to speak about these things again the next week.

Pastor, can you imagine?  You get done preaching and people are begging for you to preach again next week.  I’ve had some begging after my preaching, but it wasn’t to keep going, that’s for sure.

Acts 13:44 then says The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord.

This is incredible is it not?  I don’t know how many people were in the city, but almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach.  Their preaching was producing incredible results.  Preaching matters because preaching produces.

Then they head to Iconium.  Antioch had been great but it was time to move on.  They had to be going to the next city thinking, “Surely, God won’t do that again.  That was a one time thing, right?”  But look what the first verse of Acts 14 says.

Acts 14:1 The same thing happened in Iconium.  Paul and Barnabas went to the Jewish synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers.

Wow!  Preaching matters because preaching produces.  In Iconium, Antioch and the other towns it produced a “great number” of believers.  Every week, I ask God to “do it again”.  “God, you produced great results in Iconium, you can do it in this place today.”

No one will ever convince me that preaching doesn’t matter anymore.  I know, I’m saying this as a preacher, so I lose some credibility in it, but all throughout history God has used preachers to change the world.

Yes, he uses teachers, truck drivers, mechanics and every other position as well.  God’s Spirit is not limited to preaching, but make no mistake about it, He’s not limited by preaching either.  It still pierces.  It still proves.  It still pours and it still produces!

God's Spirit is not limited to preaching, but make no mistake about it, He's not limited by preaching either. Click To Tweet

Lord, You did it in Jerusalem, You did it in Damascus, You did it in Caesarea, and You did it in Iconium. Would you do it again in our midst?  Lord Jesus, we need YOU in our preaching.