Charles E. Booth wrote: “Therefore, the serious revivalist should always seek to preach as as if life or death hangs in the balance.” He was writing specifically about the revivalist, but it can actually refer to any preacher’s sermon.
I was reading another website where a preacher referred to preaching as “mere preaching.” He was speaking of the preacher’s need to do more than simply “preach.” While this is technically true, it does demonstrate an idea that preaching is not as important as doing other areas of ministry. Preaching is secondary, so this idea goes, to the visitation with members. Perhaps preaching should take a secondary role to the community activist role in the mind of some members.
But preaching changes things. Preaching can change worlds. Preaching can open up avenues of thought that were not there or were only latent before. Preaching can give courage that was not there before the word came. Yes God uses preaching to save the souls of the lost.
One of our readers wrote me an email asking specifically, how can they keep from becoming complacent in the preaching role. If one is not careful, preaching can always take a second seat to other “more pressing” concerns of ministry. But if one keeps in mind that life or death hangs in the balance. And that God uses our sermons to change the very course of peoples lives, then we can at least attempt to preach as if preaching truly matters. Then maybe we will not refer to preaching as something optional or secondary and recognize it as our primary role.