Churches need a faithful exhibit that teaches and applies the Word of God, not another discipleship-training program, SBTS president Albert Mohler told attendees of the annual exhibitors’ summit at Southern Seminary on Oct. 27.
Preaching in Colossians 1, Mohler stated that the purpose of the ministry is to introduce mature believers in Christ.
“The miracle of the ministry is that Christ, through us, demonstrates his energy, through the powerful proclamation of the word. Mohler said, “By the proclamation of his word he transforms his church into mature believers.” “
The annual Exhibitor Summit was held October 26-28 at Southern Seminary and brought together many faculty members and alumni in plenary and breakout sessions.
Paul’s announcement – to be of God, through him, and to his readers – is a description of the call to ministry.
“As a preacher of the word, you are the channel through which God speaks to his people,” he said. “It is the stewardship of God that passes through the preacher and the church to make the word of God fully known.”
Churches have relied on a variety of creative ways to make disciples, he said. But only the ministry of the Word produces mature true believers.
“How many books, seminars, and programs have dealt with discipleship? Mohler asked. “It was all well intentioned – and probably had a sanctifying effect. But the point is, there is no program on earth that can produce a disciple.
“When it comes to making disciples, there is only one way to do it and that is through the continual preaching of the Word. It is the ministry of preaching. We are warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom that we can present everyone who is mature in Christ.
In a post-Christian context, the preaching of the Bible is often criticized because the secular world rejects Christian claims to the truth. But faithful exposure is still the vehicle God uses to build His church and glorify His name.
“We live in a time when the gospel is seen as so out of sync that people can be offended by the warning,” Mohler said. “The apostle Paul says we are proclaiming it, warning everyone and teaching all of God’s counsel. This is the purpose for which God has called us. This is the purpose of the pastoral office.
Hershael York and Abraham Kuruvilla were among the SBTS faculty members who taught and preached at the annual conference.
Preaching from 2 Timothy 4, York, who is dean of the School of Theology and Victor and Louise Lester professor of Christian preaching at SBTS, urged participants to make preaching a central part of their ministry. And the sermon should not stop at simply explaining the text, he said, and it is not complete until the truths have been carefully applied to the lives of listeners.
“The church can never be more faithful than the preaching that shapes and shapes it,” York said.
“Make preaching your main activity. . . . The preacher’s job is to show the profitability of the Bible, its usefulness to his people, to show how the Holy Spirit included this story, this passage, this warning, for a reason. Your job then is to make the request. The pastor is not only an exegete, but he must be. If it was just exegesis, you could just buy your people a nice set of commentaries and be done with it.
“No, it’s about the shepherd. It’s about taking that Word, and as you preach its meaning, you walk through life with these people. You know their stories and their struggles. You know their challenges, their hurts, their temptations, their problems, and you are able to preach this Word in a way that shows them exactly how God the Holy Spirit is leading this in their life and what their response should be. . “
There is a big difference between a preacher who lacks confidence in the Word of God and a preacher who believes in its truthfulness and, in its ability, to transform lives with all his heart, York said. He encouraged the listeners to be the kind of man who is consumed by the Word of God.
“When the man of God is so absorbed in the Word of God, he is so in love with Christ that he represents, he has such a burden on the people to whom he preaches, and he stands in that pulpit, he has something to say, ”York said.
“Paul said in Acts 20, ‘I did not hesitate to preach to you all the counsel of God.’ I fear that too often a diminished man with a moderate sense of calling preaches a weakened word and a truncated gospel to an unloved congregation he barely knows from a pulpit he sees as a temporary post until ‘that he can convince another search committee somewhere that he can do it for them for more money and probably more people.
“But the man that’s consumed by the Word of God, charged by the Spirit of God, he’s got something to say. This book (the Bible) is not useful for personal advancement or popularity or for appearing cool or culturally acceptable. It is not useful for being invited to preside at public ceremonies or to pray at inaugurations, but it is useful for teaching. It is useful for shouting and correcting and for training in righteousness.
Because the people in his care in a church are culturally pressed, the pastor will be tempted to cut corners or play with Bible truth, York said.
“Paul said to Timothy,” But as for you, be sober in everything, suffer hard things, do the work of an evangelist – there is no problem in your church that winning people to Christ will not overcome. , so be an evangelist – fully accomplish your ministry, complete your ministry.
“Make sure that your character matches your calling, that your personal and pastoral life are consistent with your preaching life so that when the days are long and your work is not appreciated and you are called to do things beyond your comfort zone or even your will, wrap yourself in the heavier garment of your calling. Be the vicar of great things in a small pulpit.
Abraham Kuruvilla, Christian preaching teacher and author of many books on preaching and homiletics, said every preacher should practice Lectio Continua– preach verse by verse through the books of the Bible. This approach to preaching is as old as the church and communicates to listeners that every word of God is vital.
Lectio Continua was the practice of the early church and was picked up in the Reformation, he said. To demonstrate this, Kuruvilla preached a brief sermon on Judges 19, a more obscure passage about the Levite and his concubine, a passage rarely visited even by the most devoted preacher.
“One of the implications of preaching the whole counsel of God is that every part of the scriptures is valuable,” he said. “For example, in 1 Corinthians 9: 9-25, Paul holds a relatively unimportant Old Testament text, Deuteronomy 25: 4, even considering this text to be significant to the current practice of Corinthian listeners. “