Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Preaching and a Preacher's Growth

"I give you the motto, 'Go forward.' Go forward in personal attainments, forward in gifts and in grace, forward in fitness for the work, and forward in conformity to the image of Jesus...If there be any brother here who thinks he can preach as well as he should, I would advise him to leave off altogether." ~ Charles Spurgeon

I am in a preaching lab class at my seminary, RTS Atlanta, and my professor sent a great blog post out to the class about how preachers should evaluate their preaching. It is a great article that I would recommend anyone reading, even those who have no plans of ever preaching. If you are reading this and you are not a preacher, nor do you have any plans to become one, I do not write this here to give you a means by which to criticize your pastor but quite the contrary. I write this so you can know how to pray for your pastor and his preaching and so you can know what he pours into it when he does it in a godly, biblical manor. No preacher gets all this right all the time (I preached at my church this past Sunday and found this article both encouraging and quite convicting), which is why he needs your prayer for his preaching.

The article's major points are the following:
  • Did I preach as God's servant? The author summarizes, "Evaluate your sermons for any hint that you stood in the pulpit as a lord and savior instead of a humble servant and messenger whose authority comes solely from God."
  • Did I preach to build God's Church? The author summarizes, "When evaluating your preaching, ask yourself whether you preached with a burning love for God which made you long to see His church built up on earth. God loves His church with an everlasting love. If you love God, your preaching must be full of love for God’s church."
  • Did I preach Christ as the only foundation? The author states, "Christ is everything to the believer: our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). Christ is not only the door into salvation; He is the entire road on which we must travel to glory."
  • Did I build my sermon with the precious materials of Reformed experiential preaching? He, again, summarizes, "The wisdom of the Scriptures is the only material worthy of use in God’s holy temple. Therefore, do not build your sermons with the materials of man which will perish in God’s flaming glory."
  • Did I preach for the Master's reward? He states, "Though you and your hearers may have long forgotten the specifics of what you preached, the Lord will judge every sermon. Every sermon will have one of two outcomes on Judgment Day: it may be found precious in God’s sight and receive His approbation, or it will be judged unworthy and the fire of God’s glory will consume it."
Those are the major points of this blog post but there is some great content in between them. I recommend reading the whole thing. And, remember, read with the heart wanting to know how to pray for your pastor, not judge his sermons for all of the above questions are attitudes of the heart that only he and God can know fully.

By His Grace,

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