On this past Tuesday, fifteen pastors from the Twin Cities region of the Treasuring Christ Together Network gathered at Bethlehem Baptist Church for their monthly regional gathering. After starting the morning with worship and prayer led by Wally Brath, Charlie Handren led a discussion on the importance of preaching. Here are some highlights from that discussion:
In 2 Tim 4:1-2, Paul gives Timothy the following advice:
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
Charlie Handren added some helpful thoughts to these verses. He said, “Where was Timothy when Paul wrote to him? Ephesus. What was Ephesus like? It was Greek, there was very little Jewish influence. His words were valid for Timothy in a culture that was totally foreign to Judaism. It was much more akin to our culture today. Even in a culture like this, Paul’s command is clear, ‘Preach the word.'”
“Good preaching is born of good praying and it will come forth with the power that caused the Great Awakening when it is delivered under the mighty prayer-wrought influence of the Holy Spirit.” John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching.
“Our praying for preaching is especially effective when we are not primarily praying because we are preaching. If we are praying because we are already intimately connected to the Father, our prayers will be especially effective. If we pray because it is our job to preach and so we need to do our duty, there is something plastic in that.” – Charlie Handren
What is Christ-centered preaching? Christ Centered Preaching means preaching the person and work of Christ as both the motive and means to true Christian living and relating all aspects of Christian life to Christ and the gospel.
“Work without prayer is atheism; and prayer without work is presumption.” – R.W. Dale