For the final writing project of my summer Preaching class we had to write a letter as if we had just arrived at a church as senior pastor to inform the elders how we approached preaching. I won’t give you the whole ten page paper but I will give you a flavor with the conclusion.
“Preaching the gospel of Jesus is what sets Christianity apart from any other religion. The truth of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross and victory over sin and death must be at the center of the church and we accomplish this through consistent preaching of God’s word.
“As we read scripture we see that proclamation is the primary form of communication as God speaks directly and verbally, through the voices of the prophets, by Christ at the incarnation and among the church through apostles and believers in Jesus. While culture changes over time the proclaimed word is still significant and we must be a church known for its clear gospel preaching, fervently proclaiming the reality of a creator God, the rebellion of sin, the redemption of Christ and the restoration in him to a world without hope and to believers in need of reminding.
“The character of our preaching then reflects that of Christ’s as it challenges assumptions within the church, makes use of all the scripture to tell of Jesus, motivates for belief and response and equips our congregation to become proclaimers of the true gospel. We must use this model as we formulate our sermons and the proclamation of the gospel in our church. Human effort in study and preparation are important but we must also be about prayer and petition for empowerment to preach well and live in response to the gospel.
“The ideas I have presented here are by no means an exhaustive account of Biblical interaction with proclamation or the art of preaching but I do hope that we can recognize together the vital role preaching must play in our church. No program or attractional environment will do more to draw people to Christ than the understandable and honest presentation of the gospel. As your pastor I commit to you that I will work diligently to preach of Christ through the totality of scripture asking the Holy Spirit to challenge my heart in the preparation and the heart of the church in the presentation. There is no greater joy than proclaiming the gospel and I am humbled that I get to do just that at this church and along side dedicated and godly elders.
“Let us determine to be a church preaching distinctly Christian sermons at the center of our gatherings. In the proclamation of God’s word he is glorified and we learnt to rely more and more on the gospel. As we do this I trust that we grow deep roots and learn to be a people of the gospel in our city reflecting Christ as we go.”