Last time when we were in our series on The Pastor’s Responsibility, we highlighted that the pastor should be involved in three things every Sunday in the pulpit. Those three are teaching, preaching, and telling. Preaching and teaching should be regular and ongoing. You’d think this would be a given but that’s not necessarily the case in the modern-day church. They should not be divested from each other but interconnected and intertwined in a spiritual synergy for the edification of the body of Christ.
If you remember, we looked at three words in the Greek concerning these three things. Preaching literally means to “speak forth” or proclaim. To herald. The Greek word kerusso. To teach means to instruct so that the people may learn. Greek word didasko. A third thing is to speak the word. To utter it. To tell it. Greek word laleo.
Our congregations will only go as far as we take them. We can only lead as far as we have gone. That means that we must be constantly reading, constantly learning. In the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders, it says:
A leader who intends to grow spiritually and intellectually will be reading constantly… Wesley told the younger ministers of the Methodist societies to read or get out of the ministry!… The leader should read, too, to acquire new information, to keep current with the time, to be well-informed in his or her own field of expertise. The leader should read to have fellowship with great minds. Through books, we hold communion with the greatest spiritual leaders of the ages.Spritual Leadership, page 102
In any other profession, they read and study to become the top of their chosen vocation. It is known that one of the key components to a successful person’s life is that they read all of the time. Successful CEOs and business people have that in common across the board. People like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Dan Peña — all billionaires, are constantly reading. Since we have the very oracles of God, it would seem wise that we would be doing the same because our responsibility is much greater.
We need to make the building up of our minds a priority because it is what will love the souls of those God has placed under our care. When we grow, they grow. Our teaching and preaching do not begin and end in the pulpit. They should be outgrowths of who we are as elders in the church and what we do every day as we labor in the word of God. It is on us to be examples of our teaching in personal living, teaching others how to live in the faith. There is no difference here when it comes to sacred or civil. It’s all sacred. This is the part of the purpose of our teaching and preaching, to connect the gospel, the law of God, to all areas of our lives and communicate how that happens to the people of God.
Francis Schaeffer says in his book Escape from Reason:
Christ is Lord of all — over every aspect of life. It is no use saying He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Lord of all things, if He is not the Lord of my whole unified intellectual life. I am false or confused if I sing about Christ Lordship contrived to retain areas of my own life that are autonomous.Escape from Reason, Chapter 7
This then is what we must teach the people of God, that the Bible is not just a spiritual thing but it is a life thing. It should infect and influence all areas of our lives. This then is the reason why teaching and preaching must come from the pulpit incessantly.
We can’t take them anywhere if we teach them nothing. If we’re too concerned with relating to them in the pulpits than teaching them with authority as overseers of their souls, we have stepped outside the bounds of our call. We should relate to them only insofar as it teaches them more about who God is, our great faith, and who we are in the midst of all that.
Next time, we’ll take a look at the twin of ministry in the word which is prayer. God bless you and keep you, beloved.by