“Why do we speak?”

Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 178

As mentioned last week, I started a new series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ on “effective speaking”. Our first class, last Friday, was focused on the topic of why we preach. At the beginning of the class I asked the group for reasons why they think we preach or speak in church?

Here are some of their comments: 

“To lead the spiritual atmosphere of the meeting”; “passing on the message”; “to inspire people”; “to make sure everyone gets something spiritually beneficial from the time together”; “to share something personal, from the heart”; “God’s Word needs to be proclaimed”; “to see things from different people’s perspectives”;

Coincidentally, the following day, Saturday, I attended an event in central Watford for preachers of all different denominations. We had, essentially, a discussion about our different approaches to and understanding of the significance of preaching.

At one point the leader of the session, Helen Roberts, asked me my views on why we preach. I said the following:

“We preach because God decided his message was best communicated through human beings. We bring, as someone once said, “truth through personality”. God is perfectly capable of speaking for himself, but he believes and knows a better method is to use us to speak his truth to others.  All of us in this room might speak on the same passage or topic, but it will be a completely different experience for the group to which we are speaking because each of us is a different person with a different personality. We need to preach, and many people need to preach, because it’s the best way for God to communicate his truth to humankind.”

That summary of my approach, or understanding, seemed to resonate with the group. The discussion we had in Thames Valley on Friday night was fascinating. Follow the link to hear that more extended class on this topic.

What I’d like to know from you is, how would you answer the question, “Why do you preach?”.  

Of course, there are many ways to answer this question, and one phrase won’t be adequate. However, sometimes it is good to write a pithy phrase or sentence which summarises at least some of the core components of why you preach.

Question for today: “Why do you speak?”

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John