Primacy of Preaching

Chuck FullerChuck Fuller, General

Everett Wilson states, “Preaching is the most undemocratic of routines. . . . Week in, week out, people come and listen for a half-hour at a time to someone like themselves. They do not interrupt; they do not walk out. They can’t switch channels. Sometimes the speaker scolds them, and they sit still for it. . . . Many of them, in fact, are giving sacrificially to keep the speaker’s family fed, clothed, housed, and educated. Those of us who have assumed such an undemocratic prerogative had better believe we are engaged in the ministry of the Word of God; otherwise there is no hope for us!”

Preaching seems foolish. The Bible admits as much, but claims there is power in it. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “God was well-pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.”

John A. Broadus famously observed that “preaching is characteristic of Christianity.” The prophets preached to Israel, calling them to repentance and righteousness. Jesus came preaching about the kingdom of God.  The apostles preached Christ’s death and resurrection to all who would hear. The task given to pastors today is “preach the word.” The full scope of Scripture insists that we keep preaching at the top our priorities, and the reason is clear: advancing God’s mission happens through preaching God’s word.