The Heart of a Preacher By George Stroh, Senior Pastor March 8, 2010
"And when I came to you brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
This past week, two of our Elders and I had the privilege of attending the 2010 Shepherds' Conference at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. The well known and much resected expository Bible teacher/preacher, Dr. John MacArthur is the Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church and President of the Masters College and Seminary. Dr. MacArthur, along with many of the staff from Masters and several other exceptionally gifted Bible teachers and preachers were the speakers at the conference.
For me, listening to each of these gifted men preach the Word of God was an incredibly inspiring, yet very humbling and intimidating experience. I'm sure that most of the other 4,000 or so Pastors there probably shared my feelings of inadequacy as we compared our preaching ability to these masters of the pulpit. But then one of the speakers reminded us that there are no little churches and no little sermons and that our preaching, to many or to few, must always bring glory to God. Whenever we preach, rather than hearing "What a wonderful sermon!", we should hope to hear our listeners say "What a wonderful God and Savior we have!".
We can and should learn much from great preachers. I'm indebted and grateful for all I have learned about expository Bible teaching and preaching from gifted mentors like John MacArthur, Gil Rugh, Warren Wiersbe and so many others. And while most of us Bible teachers and preachers will never achieve their stature, we still strive to learn from and to emulated them, diligently studying God's Word, working hard to prepare and deliver sermons that will bring glory to Christ and edify His church.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth; "I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling." Paul wasn't fearful and trembling because of men, but because he understood his heavy responsibility and accountability before God as a preacher of the Gospel. He preached "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." There are no little Churches and no little sermons. I remain humbled and grateful to have the amazing privilege and opportunity, like Paul, to proclaim; "Jesus Christ and Him crucified." To Him be the Glory in the Church and in all our Bible teaching and preaching.Maranatha!