I love preaching...but preaching has become a spectator sport. Let me take the next few paragraphs on how to take your church experience and make it more meaningful. We learned in the previous post about "Entering In" with praise and thanksgiving. We learned about in another post "the Altar," and its purpose and meaning in worship. Now let's examine the next piece of furniture in the tabernacle: the laver.
Preaching is the same as that piece of furniture. The laver was the place the priests would wash their hands in preparation to enter the Holy Place. Proper priestly worship looks forward to the preaching. I hope to lead worship in a church that doesn't just like the music but is in love with an almighty God. I look forward to preaching because, on purpose, preaching is a great wash basin for the heart, soul and mind. Music does a great job of opening the soul and the mind, but preaching revives the heart and spirit. Worship music shouldn't be separated from the preaching of the Word. At the beginning of the post I said preaching has become a spectator sport, and we have those preachers we like" and those we dislike. "He's funny," "He's boring," "He...well, he should just stop!" or "He is the best thing since sliced bread." Friend, listen: Preaching isn't about the best person delivering the message. Preaching is about truth that cleans your heart, soul and mind.
Let's get this straight too: Preaching doesn't have to take a text from God's Word, although we know that that is a good place to start. It's not about whether it should be "verse by verse" or "topical." Rather, preaching is a wash basin and, regardless of method, we must look deep into it to clean up our hearts, soul and mind. We need it to learn to serve, to make us humble and to center us to enter the holy place in our daily walk with God.
Preaching isn't the end, yet so many Christians stop after preaching. "Well, I went to church on Sunday, so I'm good 'til next Sunday." Could you imagine for a moment with me that your family would continue to embrace you daily if you didn't take a shower but once a week? I happen to think that after day two, they would start to complain and even throw you out of the house. "Daily in his Word" is often said, and it's for a reason we ought to encourage each other with preaching from all over the country. There are many good sermons and truths to learn from.
The end result of your walk with God ought to be in his presence. You don't get that corporately; you get that in the individual walk with God. I don't look on any man and consider him as a "Great Man of God." (First of all, who's giving these titles away anyway?) Don't get me wrong: I know these titles are at times given by a congregation to show its love toward someone. But while I commend preachers who have stood in the pulpit many years and preached, those titles are a little awkward to them as well--at least awkward for a man who is humble enough that he won't expect a title like that. Rather than accolades or titles, a preacher's goal ought to be to provide a congregation the water to clean up their inner person.
The Word isn't a secondary thing to ignore in our walk with God, and it should be given a place of utmost importance in our House of Worship. The next time the Word of God is read, ask yourself if your intention is to hear it and use truth to clean up your heart, soul and mind. It doesn't matter who is delivering the message, because there is something to learn from each one and washing occurs when the priests apply it to their lives. (I know Paul teaches us how to determine the wrong type of preacher in Corinthians, but let's assume this article speaks about the preachers preaching are "Known Spiritual."
My focus as a worship leader is to bring attention toward God's Word. Often I raise the physical Bible up as I sing and push the guitar aside, and often I find myself reading a word of encouragement. I want the Word of God to move and clean our crowd weekly. Listen to this song "Clean."