Our Scripture verse on preaching is 1 Timothy 4:13-14 which reads: “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”
Our quote on preaching today is from Fred Craddock. He said, “Preach like you know they almost didn’t come.”
Our first topic is titled “The Call to the Ministry, Part 9” from “Lectures to My Students” by Charles H. Spurgeon.
At the time of my first delivery of this lecture, I had not read John Newton’s admirable letter to a friend on this subject; it so nearly tallies with my own thoughts, that at the risk of being thought to be a copyist, which I certainly am not in this instance, I will read you the letter:–
“Your case reminds me of my own; my first desires towards the ministry were attended with great uncertainties and difficulties, and the perplexity of my own mind was heightened by the various and opposite judgments of my friends. The advice I have to offer is the result of painful experience and exercise, and for this reason, perhaps, may not be unacceptable to you. I pray our gracious Lord to make it useful.
Our second topic is titled “The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 22” from “The Preacher and his Preaching” by Alfred P. Gibbs.
This section is titled: HE MUST BE FIT FOR THE WORK (PART 7)
The preacher should be physically fit. Public speaking exacts a tremendous strain on one’s supply of nervous energy. In fact, one hour of preaching is the equivalent of eight hours of physical labor, in terms of the expenditure of nervous energy. The physical is more closely linked to the spiritual than we imagine. The ideal, so far as preaching is concerned, is to have a healthy soul in a healthy body. The apostle John realized this and wrote to his beloved friend, Gaius, “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
Our third topic is titled “Tools of the Trade, Part 6” from “Biblical Preaching” by Haddon W. Robinson.
— Sermon Length
Another factor we must consider in choosing what to preach is time. We must preach our sermons in a limited number of minutes. Few congregations being offered well-prepared and attractively presented biblical truth will sit before their pastor with stopwatches in their hands. Yet, if we’re honest, we will not take time not granted to us. We must tailor our sermons to our time, and the cutting should be done in the study rather than in the pulpit.