A friend new to ministry recently asked me advice on preaching…
Some will bristle at this suggestion but I offer it anyway, fully believing in its truth.
In your ministry, preaching is the most important thing you will do.
Theologically, I believe this is true. Bringing a Word on behalf of your congregation is a sacred vocation.
But I say this for practical reasons too.
I realize the Emerging Church conversation has had much to say about the decline in the relevance of traditional preaching, even wondering if preaching has a future, but there is no other aspect of your ministry in which you will engage, form and equip a greater number of your congregation.
The preaching event is when the greatest number are exposed to you.
Indeed for many the preaching event will be their only exposure to you or to the life and ministry of the church.
The commitment and quality you bring to the pulpit each week significantly determines how the congregation views you and evaluates you.
What’s more- in many areas of your ministry you are a generalist and in many of those areas, such as finance, education, recruitment or planning, lay people in your congregation will have a greater expertise.
Unlike any other facet of your work, preaching and worship are the venue in which you are the resident expert and you should leverage that opportunity.
This isn’t to say the time you spend with a particular family in crisis isn’t more valuable.
It’s to say that you cannot have such moments with every family in your congregation.
You can’t build close, personal relationships with every one in your community.
You can’t personally disciple every individual.
Preaching is when everyone gets to have twenty minutes
It makes no sense, therefore, to waste that opportunity by giving it less time and attention than you would to any other part of your ministry.