Archive for the ‘Work Ethics’ Category

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A Friday Question – Microscopic Preaching?

March 30, 2007

OK, so it finally got to me. After helping preach through Jeremiah in large chunks (on two ocassions, covering three chapters in a single sermon), I cracked. Faced in preparation with one measly chapter of 27 verses, I could no longer leap and bound across the text.

After some outlining work of Jeremiah 13 and identifying 5 sizeable sections, the penny dropped: I couldn’t do justice to each point. Even in summary….

So what am I now planning to do?

At the moment, I’m hoping to briefly summarise the five warnings of Jeremiah chapter 13. Then we’ll take the microscope to the first section (v 1-11). My thought is that we might be able to chew over our spiritual food rather than gulp it down. And, from the look of the passage, there’s enough danger of indigestion as it is, without adding to the likelihood!

Is it just me? Are there are ocassions when we fail to do justice to the text because we’ve bitten off more than we can chew? Do you think there can an optimum length for given preachers before they start to skim unproductively over the text?

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A Friday Question – Commentaries?

March 23, 2007

Biblical commentaries. Some preachers love them; others, frankly, hate them. Some use them with abandon; others treat them with suspicion. But what do you think?

1. Are good commentaries an essential part of modern preaching preparation? What might we gain/lose by using them?

2. At what point and to what degree should we use them in our preparation?

3. Should we ever quote from a commentary?

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A Friday Question – Emotive Preaching?

March 16, 2007

A couple of months back, I posted a Tim Keller sermon on “Workman Watch.” It generated a lot of interest, with an interesting discussion ensuing about the role of emotion in preaching.

J. Gary Ellison kicked things off when he wrote of Keller:

“Last year he spoke on the Gospel and Postmodernism at John Piper’s conference. His analysis was very good and Haddon Robinson speaks highly of him as being in touch and able to speak to contemporaries, so I wanted to hear him preach when I saw your analysis of his sermon. What I found difficult was the _apparent_ (underline apparent) lack of passion. His message was excellent, but there was a great difference in his level of ethos and that of David Martyn Lloyd-Jones whom he quotes in is lecture on postmodernism. I once heard Leo Buscaglia, a secular professor, speak with great passion and conviction that gripped me. Have I missed something here? Do we have to speak calmly to get a hearing with contemporaries?

My response was:

“Gary, that’s why I (personally) have an ever so slight preference for listening to the likes of Piper/MacArthur than Keller. For me, the former ‘convey’ a greater sense of passion as they deliver the solid content. That said, I’m always careful about this because preaching is ‘truth through personality.’ My impression is that Keller is a laid back kind of guy and therefore its no surprise that this translates into his preaching. Moreover, sometimes when I’ve heard Keller speak I’ve detected that he is excited about what he’s talking about. Of course, Keller’s passion won’t ‘look’ the same as Piper’s!”

Finally, Tim Keller himself (most graciously!) weighed in on the debate:

“I’m a little worried about the ‘passion’ statements. I don’t take them personally at all–not at all. But they may be a bit short-sighted. We all have different temperments and Rev A can feel something just as strongly as Rev B and yet not be as intense and dramatic in his outward expression of it. But keep in mind that a lot of secular people simply can’t hear the gospel very well when the speaker gets highly emotional. There’s room for a great range of temperments in preachers because there is such a great range of temperments in the listeners.”

So I’m interested – what do you all think? Does passion need to be evident? Or is it an evident turn-off to post-modern people?

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Visual Aids Reloaded

March 9, 2007

After a barnstorming discussion last Friday about visual aids in the context of preaching, I thought I’d return to this for one more week. Basically, I’ve read through the comments and want to summarise some of the responses.

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FOR
Its helpful to note that those proposing the use of visual aids in preaching can be divided into two camps: those who use almost exclusively text (with the odd picture) and those who advocate much more frequent use of visual images. Either way, here were some of the arguments advanced in favour:

1. Visual images were frequently used by Jesus to illustrate the word he preached.
“I think Jesus’ own example in teaching shows that there was room for creativity without compromising the message.” (Peter Bogert)

2. In a visually conscious culture, images connect well and may provide an audio-visual double emphasis.
“I like it for images…since we are an image driven society (logos, commercials, advertising) and a good image can drive a great point home.” (Brandon)

“It is impossible to distract this generation with too much visual simuli as long as it is saying what God told you to say, go for it!” (Mark Morris)

“I think that using this works best because people are getting the main points and scriptures two ways via audio and video.” (Peter)

3.It can helpfully and quickly bring in cross-references.
“I use it to present additional scripture in my sermon. This helps the congregation to not be constantly flipping through the Bible and missing what I am saying.” (Bill Reichart)

4.Some people will especially benefit from the visual element.
“I preach in a Deaf church to Deaf people. Deaf people are primarily visual learners. It is infinitely easier to keep their attention and keep them in the flow of the message when the sermon (the outline, at least) is compiled in Powerpoint and the speaker can preach from such a medium.” (Stephen Newell)

5. If we are opposed to images on screens, what is our rationale for illustrations which paint pictures using words?
“For those opposed to powerpoints, I suppose I wonder if they are opposed to illustrations (verbal) in sermons. In an illustration, you attempt to paint a picture with your words that better illustrates your point. Just as visual illustrations can be abused, so can verbal illustrations. But I have never once heard of anybody who opposes powerpoint ALSO opposing verbal illustrations.” (Michael Garner)

AGAINST
1. It shows a lack of confidence in the word preached.
“I am afraid what drives many preachers to use PP is that they don’t think people will listen if they don’t have some cool graphic displayed behind them.” (Justin Childers)

“In a culture surrounded by visual religion (viz., idolatry), the OT prophets proclaimed the Word of the Lord. The same was true of the early church. Throughout history as the church began to rely more and more on images (e.g., statues of the Virgin Mary), it drifted farther and farther away from the Word.” (Milton Stanley)

“I appreciate that we live in a visual age but does that necessarily mean we should pander to it? Our congregations need encouragement to be word focussed – both written and spoken.” (John Brand)

2. It may produce a sloppiness of language
“A preacher should have or should be striving for such a mastery of words that it would be second rate to use powerpoint to illustrate a point in a sermon. Are not the powers of language enough? Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones would agree, and I’m sure Whitefield would as well.” (Ryan Findlay)

3. It can produce a ‘lecture feel.’
“I do not want my sermon to be a lecture and I do not want people to be frantically taking down notes as though there was going to be a final exam. What I’m aiming at, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, is an encounter with the Living God in his Word resulting in reformation, renewal, conversion etc.” (Peter Foxwell)

4. It can take a long time to design
“I’ve sat through far too many sermons where the preacher clearly spent WAY more time on his slides than his preparation.” (Tim Challies)

5. It can discourage people from reading their bibles.
“I really dislike, though, having Bible verses on the screen, or photos. Already our congregation does not check in their Bibles (or even write the verse references down, as far as I can tell) to see if what is put on the screen and said from the pulpit is accurate. I think PP makes it worse; even those who would normally open their Bibles don’t now, because it’s all up there on the screen.” (Karen B)

(ps. I think the comments I liked best – and probably summarises my own approach – came from Justin Buzzard: “I’ve found…limited, in the background, use of PP to be beneficial to our people and to not distract from the preached Word. I understand, though, many of the no PP comments here. Visuals can quickly get out of hand and distracting if one’s not careful.” I also think Brendt asked a key question: “I think it comes down to ‘do you use it, or it use you?'”)

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A Friday Question – Visual Props?

March 2, 2007

For some time, I have pondered the usefulness of visual aids in the context of preaching. Many churches already utilise the likes of Powerpoint for musical items, but increasingly it is used during the sermon. However, I’ve heard some (including no less than John Piper) express their displeasure at this approach. Some would say it creates something of a lecture feel; others, that it distracts from the ‘word’ being preached. I’m not so sure. In our church, many have found it a helpful complement when sensitively used. To see an example from a recent sermon, click here.

So what do you all think? Yay, or nay?

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The Manuscript Maze (part four)

February 23, 2007

Our fourth and final week of the Manuscript Maze brings us not so much to a conclusion, as simply to the third main method people use. At the end of the day, it would seem foolish to prescribe a once for all method since Scripture doesn’t do so. What is left for us to consider then, is a reduced manuscript.

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What then are the pros and cons of this method?

Pros
1. It allows some support to the preacher who may not have the memory capacity to remember much of the sermon detail. There is always a fall back if the preacher struggles.
2. It aids the preacher to carefully word particular points in the sermon, should he feel the need to do so.
3. It still provides the preacher with a great degree of freedom, and it is less likely he will ‘read his sermon’ or be tied to his notes.

Cons
1. This method may still take a large an amount of preparation time, especially if a full manuscript is developed, then reduced to a shorter outline.
2. Arguably, it may not be as ‘free’ as extemporaneous preaching, or as ‘careful’ as a fully developed outline.
3. If a full manuscript has never been developed, then the same weakness may be leveled as against the extemporaneous approach: the language of delivery may not be so thought through or clear.
—–

Previous posts
* the Manuscript Maze (part one)
* the Manuscript Maze (part two)
* the Manuscript Maze (part three)
* the Manuscript Maze (part four)

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The Manuscript Maze (part three)

February 16, 2007

Last week we considered the chief advantages and disadvantages of full, written manuscripts. Today, we swing to the other end of the spectrum: extemporaneous preaching. This method has been favoured by some of the greatest preachers (such as Charles Spurgeon, and George Whitefield – pictured) and involves expositing God’s Word with nothing more than an open bible. As last week, let’s now evaluate some of its strengths and weaknesses.

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Pros
1. It allows for maximum eye contact and enables the preacher to fully engage with his congregation. There is no danger of the preacher appearing impersonal simply because he glances to his notes from time to time. This advantage shouldn’t be underestimated, especially in a culture that values authenticity and good interpersonal skills.

2. Extemporaneous preaching forces the speaker to be natural. Since he hasn’t written out his script, there is no danger that he will ‘speak as he writes.’ His mode of expression is likely to be what is normal to him.

3. This approach may take less preparation time. Certainly it involves much less (or no) writing, which can be a most exacting process. That said, since the preacher has to have a good feel for the subject to speak freely on it, he may need just as much prep time in terms of reading, thinking and praying.

4. It allows flexibility to any changes the preacher encounters in terms of the congregation’s response. If there is evident confusion over a certain point, the extemporary preacher can immediately expand further till his audience seem to be grasping it. He may also move on more quickly to other material once he feels he has made his point plain.

Cons
1. For extemporaneous preachers who do little or no writing beforehand, there may be less clarity of thought. Clearer thinking can be an advantage of writing. It is also possible that the sermon will have less sensible order to it, since the structure may not have been ‘worked out.’

2. Expression may at times be less careful or sometimes ‘loose.’ There can, for the less gifted orator, be a greater likelihood of saying something in a less helpful way.

3. It relies on excellent powers of memory and good speaking ability. Not all of us are Charles Spurgeon when we get on our feet!

Well, these are my preliminary thoughts. Let me know if you agree, take issue, or have anything to add.

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The Manuscript Maze (part two)

February 9, 2007

Last Friday we began a new short series entitled “The Manuscript Maze.” For today’s Work Ethics, we’re going to ponder the pros and cons of using full notes. Obviously, this approach involves writing out the sermon word for word, followed by extensive reading of the manuscript or using it as a prop. Let me be up front and say that this is the method I currently use.

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So what are some of the pros and cons of the full manuscript approach?

Pros
1. It often brings greater clarity of thought to the preacher. Though some preachers can think clearly and concretely without writing, for many this discipline converts their general ideas into a more definite form. You might say that ‘the writing becomes a way of thinking.’

2. It can help ensure careful expression. This is especially useful when something has to be phrased with precision. In this regard, it can prevent sloppy word choice or using certain words repititiously. We may not even notice that we use the same stock of words regularly, but seeing them on the page can flag up this problem .

3. It guarentees that no important aspects of content are missed out. This, of course, may happen if we are relying on a bare bones outline or just our memory. ‘Why didn’t I say that?!’

Cons
1. If used poorly, it can limit eye contact severely. (Although its a myth that every preacher with full notes necessarily reads their script).

2. It can lead to ‘speaking as we write.’ Those who take this approach must find a way to ‘write as they speak.’ Otherwise, using a full manuscript can create a wooden and unnatural feel to our preaching.

3. It usually takes more preparation time than putting together a bare bones outline and thus has an impact on time given to other pastoral matters.

4. It may, if used unswervingly, lead to a lack of spontaneity. In an extreme case, we may not able to react to a situation of the moment which should alter our approach to some degree.

Well these are some of the positives and negatives I thought of. Perhaps you can think of some more. Or, you might want to quibble with part of what I’ve said. What do you think of the full manuscript approach?

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The Manuscript Maze (part one)

February 2, 2007

What sort of notes, if any, should you take into the pulpit? Getting this right has the potential to benefit your preaching and your congregation. Getting it wrong can lead to disastrous results.

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Over the next four Fridays, I’d like to ponder this question some more: what kind manuscript (if at all) should we use in our preaching? It seems to me that there are four basic options:

1) Full manuscript – Writing out the sermon completely and taking it with us into the pulpit. This word for word option is still popular among many preachers.

2) Reduced manuscript – This is more than a bare bones outline, but not as extensive as a full manuscript.With this approach, preachers may write out a full manuscript before reducing it to the key sentances and quotes which they will take into the pulpit. Others who take this line never write a full manuscript but only this draft form. Possibly the most popular choice?

3) Basic outline manuscript – This is the basic outline of the sermon. It will at least include the main points and possibly also brief notes on subpoints, illustrations and application. This outline probably fits onto one page.

4) No manuscript – Exemporaneous. It was good enough for Spurgeon, who left his script behind in the study to preach only from his open bible. The reality, however, is that such preaching usually still follows an outline, but this is located in the preachers head not on a sheet of paper!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at the strengths and weakness of each form. But out of interest, which do you use?

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The Case for Preaching (part 4)

January 26, 2007

Strangely (but pleasingly), since I began a short series “The Case for Preaching” four weeks ago, a number of blogs have started posting on a similar theme. Unlike my cursory reflections, many of these posts are much more in-depth and lay out a real case for the ongoing significance of preaching. So find below a few of the links and tell me what you think.

A Case for Consecutive Exposition @ Expository Thoughts
Expository Preaching: A Display of What is There @ Expository Thoughts
Benefits of Expository Preaching @ Steward of Secret Things
Why Should A Pastor Be Preoccupied with Preaching God’s Word @ Fide-O

In addition, at the suggestion of John Brand, Steve Weaver recently listed his top 10 favourite books on preaching. I can’t resist throwing in my tuppence worth:

1. Christ-Centred Preaching by Bryan Chapell. (I agree with SW that this is the best single volume to give to any young preacher)

2. Preaching and Preachers by Martyn Lloyd Jones.

3. The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper.

4. Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon

5. The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges

6. Preaching by John MacArthur

7. When God’s Voice is Heard by David Jackman and Christopher Green

8. I believe in Preaching (Between Two Worlds) by John Stott

9. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by Graham Goldsworthy

10. Preaching & Teaching with Imagination by Warren Wiersbe

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The Case for Preaching (part 3)

January 19, 2007

This week I’d like to pick up a question raised in last week’s post. Should we think of “preaching” as something that is necessary within Christian gatherings? Or is this, in the biblical sense, only something to be restricted to evangelism?

The argument is that in the NT preaching almost always (some say always) occurs in the context of evangelism. On the other hand, Christians in the New Testament are ‘taught’ the word of God. It was even suggested by one commentor last week that preaching to believers might actually ‘stunt’ their growth (for an example of this argument, see this article).

My own view is that we cannot be so hard and fast with these distinctions. At least we shouldn’t preclude the idea that believers should be preached to. I think that Jay Adams’ comment below is reasonably fair:

Strictly speaking, the principal biblical words translated “preaching” do not correspond exactly to that activity to which we affix the label. They are somewhat narrower in scope. These words, kerusso and euangelizo, are used in the New Testament to describe “heralding” and “announcing the gospel.” They refer to evangelistic activities. The former always has to do with public proclamation of the good news, while the latter may be used to describe making the gospel known to either unsaved groups or individuals…On the other hand, the word didasko, translated “to teach,” more nearly corresponds to our modern use of the word preach, and has to do with the proclamation of truth among those who already believe the gospel…Though at times didasko seems also to be limited to evangelistic speaking, and occasionally it is possible that kerusso may refer to preaching to the saints… There are, then, two kinds of preaching (because of a deeply impressed use of the English word I shall use the term “preaching” to cover both evangelistic and pastoral speaking): evangelistic preaching (heralding, good news) and pastoral or edificational preaching (teaching).” Adams, J, Preaching with a Purpose, p 5-6

Building on the latter part of the quote, many have noted that in the NT preaching and evangelism do (more than ocassionaly) come together, and sometimes virtually overlap. Thus…

“…this distinction between preaching (as announcement to the unconverted) and teaching (as explanation, clarification, application, and exhortation to those already informed) even in New Testament times, was not always clear. Sometimes, people spoke interchangeably about the practice of teaching and preaching. Thus, whereas Matthew 4:23 declares that Jesus was “teaching in the synagogues;” Mark and Luke indicate that he was “preaching” (Mark 1:39, Luke 4:44). In Jerusalem, the same apostles who were “proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” were at the same time “teaching the people” (Acts 4:2). Whereas the term preaching consistently refers to the message announced, the term teaching may have people as its object.

In Antioch, the work of Paul and Barnabas is described as “teaching and preaching the word of the Lord” (Acts 15:35). Since teaching is mentioned before preaching in this verse, it may be that the major emphasis of their work at this place and time was in teaching the brethren while their secondary emphasis was on preaching to the unconverted. In any case, preaching and teaching go together. He who preaches (announces to the unconverted) also generally teaches (explains, clarifies, applies, and exhorts those who are already familiar with what has already been announced).” (Ref)

All this to say that I think drawing unyielding boundaries between the two is unhelpful. Perhaps, let me suggest, all clear preaching must include aspects of teaching, whilst all biblical teaching requires an element of gospel preaching. In this regard, I’d recommend Tim Keller’s article: we never get beyond the gospel. (HT: JT) We certainly need to keep preaching the gospel to Christians!

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The Case for Preaching (part 2)

January 12, 2007

Last Friday (on the Case for preaching part 1) we considered some voices from the past in support of preaching. This week, I’d like to turn to the bible itself. Does Scripture make a case for preaching? You decide.

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Old Testament

“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Ex 9:16 – the first preacher?)

“In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the LORD had commanded him concerning them.” (Deut 1:3)

“The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets.” (2 Kings 24:2)

“So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo.” (Ez 6:14)

“My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.” (Ps 71:15-17)

“Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: ” ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.” (Jer 2:2)

“The LORD said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them.” (Jer 11:6)

“Son of man, set your face against Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary. Prophesy against the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 21:2)

“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:2)

“Then the angel who was speaking to me said, “Proclaim this word: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.” (Zech 1:14)


New Testament

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea..” (Mat 3:1)

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” (Mat 4:24)

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Mat 24:14)

“Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”” (Mk 1:38)

“He appointed twelve—designating them apostles —that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” (Mt 3:14)

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Is 61:1; Lk 4:18)

“So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.” (Lk 9:6)

“He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Lk 24:46,47)

“They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 4:2)

“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 5:42)

“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” (Acts 8:4)

“When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.” (Acts 8:25)

“Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:20)

“But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.” (Acts 15:36)

“As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,” he said.” (Acts 17:2-3)

“When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.” (Acts 18:5)

“First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” (Acts 26:20 – Paul)

“Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 28:31)

“God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you.” (Rom 1:9)

“That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.” (Rom 1:15)

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Rom 10:15)

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Cor 1:17)

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe….but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Cor 1:21, 23)

“Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16)

“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” (1 Cor 15:2)

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2 Cor 4:5)

“But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice” (Phil 1:18)

“We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (Col 1:28)

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” (Col 4:3,4)

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” (1 Tim 4:13)

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Tim 4:2)

“For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.” (1 Pet 1:24)

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1)

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.” (Rev 14:6)