Why Do We Preach?
Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
1 Corinthians 9:16
I remember the first time I preached a sermon. I was 17 years old. I was in something called The School of Ministry at Applegate Christian Fellowship. I was one of twenty young men living in a four bedroom house on the church property in Southern Oregon. At the house, we lived together, had Bible classes, and, two days a week, we would learn a trade.
One of the classes taught us how to study the Bible, and how to communicate the Bible. Each one of us was given a seven-minute slot to preach a sermon. Some of the guys had gone before me and had done pretty well. Others did not do so well. Now it was my turn, and my passage was Psalm 19. I don't remember being very nervous, but I was very unsure about how it would go. I had set my expectations nice and low so I couldn't be disappointed.
The room fell quiet and I opened up my Bible, reading Psalm 19. I paused after a few verses and shared some commentary-type thoughts about those verses. It seemed to go pretty well. I was having fun. Everyone in the room was laughing and enjoying themselves. When I got done with the verses of Psalm 19 it been about five or six minutes and things had gone well. Because things had gone well, I thought I should keep going. Even though I had not read or studied Psalm 20 I went for it. After reading the first few verses, I had no idea what to say and when I looked around the room I saw everyone else knew I had no idea what to say. I smiled and said, “Let's pray.” At that, everyone erupted it into laughter.
And that was the first sermon I preached.
This Sunday will be what seems like my one millionth sermon. And it will be on the topic of why preaching is so important to Christians. It does not just apply to pastors or Bible teachers. Preaching is a task God has asked all of us to participate in.
Shout to the north and the south. Sing to the east and the west. Jesus is Savior to all. The Lord of heaven and earth. (Martin Smith)