“There was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for while in the country of Moab.” Ruth 1:1
You know what this story talks about. Bethlehem was known by the “land of bread.” When Elimelech’s family faced the famine and recognized there was no bread in the “land of bread,” they left that place and moved to another.
Today the same can occur in our church. The church is recognized not only as a house of prayer, but also as a “house of bread”. When members see that there is no bread in the “house of bread,” members can also be tempted to leave the church in order to find bread in other places.
As spiritual leaders, we need to be sure that preaching has high priority in the church worship service. We need to be aware that as preachers we are preparing and providing the best bread for the church member.
Jack Hyles in the book, “Teaching on Preaching” writes that several years ago a poll was taken among preachers concerning the different duties of the ministry: (1) administration, (2) teaching, (3) preaching, (4) pastoring, (5) priestly work, and (6) church business. The question was asked to hundreds of preachers, “What do you think is the most important of these ministries?” Overwhelmingly the response was, “Preaching.”
The second question was asked: “Which occupies most of your time?” To that question the answer was overwhelmingly, “Administration,” and preaching was last on the list.
How tragic! That which we feel is most important is what we do the least. Preaching is teaching with a tear in the eye. Preaching is truth on fire. Preaching is the Word of God in the hand, the fire of God in the heart and the zeal of God in the soul. Preaching is the gift of God wrapped in an excited voice. Preaching is the moral conscience of a nation. Preaching is the soul of the church.
Let nothing take its place. Let no concert be given at preaching time. Let no cantata be given at preaching time. Let no movie, play or dramatical presentation substitute for the preaching of the Gospel. Let no vespers take the place of preaching.
Preaching is the power of God unto salvation. Preaching is revival’s forerunner. Preaching is the church’s heart. Preaching is doctrine clothed in excitement. Preaching is love’s smile. Preaching is sin’s greatest adversary. Preaching is doubt’s demise. Preaching is fear’s failure. Preaching is depression’s death. Preaching is disappointment’s decline. Preaching is faith’s food.
Preaching is profundity delivered in simplicity. Preaching is the mender of broken relationships. Preaching is the healer of broken hearts. Preaching is the revival of broken dreams. Preaching is Hell’s greatest enemy. Preaching is the sinner’s best friend. Preaching is the saint’s dinner. Preaching is genius with a halo. Preaching is fire in the pulpit that melts the ice in the pew.
Think about that!
General Conference Associate Ministerial Secretary