5 Fold Church- Preaching
Strong and Courageous
In our ongoing series on the 5 dynamics of a healthy or centered church, our topic today is preaching.
Ephesians Chapter 4 lays an important description of the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to the church in order to build her up to maturity. Verse 11 states “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.” With the exception of the gift of apostleship, all of the other four gifting’s are (or should be) developed and displayed within the scope of preaching. Verses 12-14 develop the purpose for the giving of these gifts. They are “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” So we see that the reason for these gifts is not so much to elevate a particular individual who is doing the preaching, but rather to equip all of the saints for service of extending the kingdom of God.
Within the five-fold, there is a distinct separation between pastors and teachers. They are differing gifts, in that teaching is more instruction based, while preaching is more caught than taught. Both are necessary and certainly both can be interwoven within a sermon. In addition, gifts of prophetic nature and inspiration for evangelism can flow forth as well. Teaching helps to prepare us to be salt and light to the world around us and gives confidence to be bold and prepared to engage our culture.
Prophetic words can be given right in the middle of a sermon, it may be specific correction or may describe an exact situation that you are going through, with practical advice that the spirit has prompted to you from the pulpit. When God is moving during the service, at times it seems like the pastor is hitting the mark so closely, you may wonder if he has been reading your mail. We as the congregation, should be very sensitive to the instructions from the Holy Spirit given in this arena.
Preaching often has a dynamic of passion and purpose within the time frame that it is taking place. Have you ever been asked by someone who was absent from the service, how was it? What did he talk about? So your reply is, man it was so good, but I can’t remember what all it was that he was saying. We may feel bad about this, but it does reveal that the nature of the preach is often times mainly in the moment that it is taking place, and that is a good thing. When we see heart felt passion and commitment to Jesus in the heart of the pastor. This fire should inspire us to go and do likewise. The Apostle Paul was clear in saying follow me, as I follow after Christ. Warren (or whoever is preaching) is passionately saying follow me, as I serve Jesus.
The messages contained in the preach should always place great emphasis on the majesty and beauty of the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Preaching is not a series of self-help ideals. Rather it is making much of Jesus and elevating Him whenever possible. This is particularly true when developing lessons from the Old Testament. We are not under the law, but under grace, O.T. stories need to link forward to the revelation of Jesus fulfilling the requirements of the law.
Finally, It is important for the pastor to be healthy, including spiritual, physical and emotional health. Balancing family life and ministry can be extremely complex and challenging. Our Pastors need the support of the body by constant prayer and love. Paul was undoubtedly a huge shaker and mover in the early church, however he was constantly asking for prayer to be bold and also to be in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Pray for our Pastors, Elders and Church Leaders today!