After preaching for five years, I’ve learned both easy and difficult lessons along the way. This post picks up where I left off in the last one, with a couple more truths that I feel are worth passing on.
Faithfulness is More Important than Flash
I see a ton of gimmicks and shows in pulpits. As a younger and less experienced preacher, I even tried a few of them thinking they would give me an edge or that people would be wowed by me if I did these things. But carnival tricks, showy communication, fancy props, and emotional manipulation are chaff in the wind compared to faithful gospel proclamation through the rightfully exegeted word of God.
Sure you can draw a crowd with show, but to grow a spiritually deep church, equip the saints, and wage good warfare, you need faithful Bible preaching. I think the longer you preach the Word, the more the gimmicks are seen for what they are: content with the spiritual depth of a puddle instead of an ocean.
A friend who attended a church more interested in flash than faithfulness once came to a gospel preaching church service with me. When the service was over, I asked what they thought. They replied, “It was like a brick to the face!” The glory of Jesus in the faithfully preached Word can feel like that.
The Gospel is Ultimate
This one shouldn’t surprise you. The Gospel was ultimate in my first sermon, it will be ultimate in my last sermon, and it will be ultimate in every sermon inbetween.
My first ever sermon was preached out of 1 Cor 1:23-24:
But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
I have mentioned, on multiple occasions, that I hope for this to be the message of my life. In fact, I requested that my funeral homily be out of 1 Cor 1:23-24 in my will.
There is no substitute, no improvement on, no news that is more important than the preaching of Jesus Christ crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected for the sin of humankind. Nothing even close. So no matter how long you’ve been preaching, keep one thing central in all you do – the good news of Jesus, not as a good teacher, or a good example, but as crucified Savior for sin.
Preaching the gospel is a great gift; one not to be taken for granted, but to be treasured, trained in, and grown because of its supreme value. Whether you’re looking forward to or looking back on your fifth anniversary of becoming a preacher, I hope Jesus grows ever more sweet to you and that your preaching reflects as much in clearer and clearer ways.