There are a variety of opinions about the person whose responsibility it is to provide the preached word. There are some that idolize and place these men upon pedestals far beyond reach. Conversely, there are those that feel that the preacher, minister, evangelist is no better than anyone else and only exists to share a few words for a few moments and move on. Admittedly, most people feel that the importance of what the man does (rather than necessarily who he is) lies somewhere in the middle.
I'd like to share a few thoughts about what thus saith the Lord about the "man of God."
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!'" Rom 10:13-15
Allow me to extract a couple of points from this passage:
- God's ultimate aim is that all men everywhere would be saved. The reason He sent His Son was to seek and save the lost. Jesus' death created a path of reconciliation between man and God. His fervent desire is that His ultimate creation love Him and seek Him. The reality is that people don't instinctively know the truth. According to Romans 1:20, there are things that should give all creatures an inkling of a higher power, but there is so much more to it than that.
- It is only when there is an awareness of his existence that belief can be nurtured and brought to full fruition of obedience. Only through obedience can one be saved.
- This awareness and everything that follows cannot happen unless there is someone to do the telling. Someone must introduce the concept, explain the rationale and reality. Someone must show the "how to", the benefits and the consequences. It is nothing less than evangelism.
- Though we all have the responsibility to share God's word and God's love with all we meet, there is a particular individual in the church that is charged with that responsibility. According to the scripture, that is the preacher. This is fortified by the fact that preacher is sent. To under gird this thought, read Eph 4:11-16 to see not only that God placed these men in the church, but also to see WHY (and you know we as thinking people always want to know why). I submit to you beloved reader, that each one mentioned in vs 11 was in fact engaged in preaching; sharing the word, bringing good tidings, carrying forth the word of God, teaching, reproving, correcting and instructing in righteousness. Each apostle was a preacher. Each prophet was a preacher. Many disciples were preachers.
What we think of the man engaged in preaching is a separate issue. From these passages, we can see that the heralds of Christ, the ministers, preachers, evangelists, etc. are sent men, ordained by God to carry forth His word to His people. This is primarily, but not exclusively done in the worship service. Christ Himself repeatedly spoke both in and out of the synagogue, not about social events or how to build cabinetry, but about God. We know that it was Paul's habit to go into the synagogue (a place of worship) and preach the word of God. Even the gentiles were attracted to these Jewish institutions to hear about the Lord. In fact, the preached word (unfortunately) is all the God that many people get. It is absolutely indispensable and shares an important role in the worship service along with the other elements we characteristically lump together as "worship." Preaching is a critical part of not only the worship service, but of our Christian lives. God has ordained it. So let it be understood. So let it be done.
Each one reach one.
Each one teach one!