It is surprising how many preachers think that preaching really doesn’t matter much. Some think that there are other more fruitful ways to minister. They say that one on one counseling is more important and more valuable. Others say that it is the Wednesday Bible study that is more important. Others argue that it is the importance of presence in the midst of life’s trials and tribulations that is much more important than the preaching moment.
All of these other ministerial responsibilities are important and valuable. We must make time for them in our ministerial schedule, but we can never set aside the great importance of preaching to the community of faith in the worship service. Personally, I think this can take second place to no other of the responsibilities of the pastor for it is the only time that the congregation as a whole is addressed in worship.
The whole congregation comes to hear a word from the Lord in the worship service. Thus the whole congregation can be corrected and/or affirmed in the context of worship to the most high God. Outside of the worship service we can do this, but only partially. We can and must deal with individuals in counseling and encouragement, but in the worship service we are not speaking to individuals, we are speaking to the congregation. We have the possibility of changing, by God’s grace, the direction of a whole community of believers.
We can do these other things, but the foolishness of preaching can never take second place to any other responsibilities. I encourage all preachers to fall in love again with preaching.