Preaching Has Shaped Me

From time to time I hear well intentioned Christians say that preaching is no good anymore. We live in a post-modern culture that doesn’t want to sit and listen to one person deliver a lecture. Our culture values everyone’s opinion, and so everyone should have an equal chance to share. Preaching just doesn’t reach our modern, interactive, opinionated culture. It’s boring. It’s too much monologue and not enough conversation. Or so the argument goes.

I never want to lose preaching. Much of my spiritual life has been shaped by preaching. For the past fifteen years I’ve had the privilege of listening to my dad preach, Sunday after Sunday, month after month, year after year. I probably couldn’t discern spiritual growth at the end of each sermon, but the cumulative effect has been huge. God has used dad’s faithful preaching to slowly transform me into the image of Christ, much like a river slowly shapes a rock over time. By God’s grace, my life is rooted in glorious biblical truths. Why? Week after week of hearing those truths proclaimed.

God has also used particular messages by particular men to radically affect my life. A number of years ago I heard C.J. Mahaney give a message entitled “The Main Thing”, in which he passionately exhorted Christians to keep the gospel at the center of their lives. I cannot overstate the the impact of this message on my life. To this day I still experience the daily effect of this message

In 2 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul exhorted Timothy:

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.

I’m grateful for godly conversations between friends, but I also want preaching. I need to hear the word preached on a weekly basis. My spiritual life depends on it.

Let me encourage you to do one thing today. Email your senior pastor and tell him how grateful you are for his preaching. Tell him specific ways that his preaching has helped you. You’ll honor God and you’ll bless your pastor.

+photo by takomabibelot

Comments

  1. Brian Daniels says

    Great article brother. I could not agree more. My wife and I have been in a church that preaches expository for about 1.5 years and the effect on our lives in mind boggling. We had never been in a church that preached and valued God’s word this way. We are far far away from being like our Savior, but I can see Him gradually conforming us through His Word.

    One other affect it has had on us: it’s made us better students of the Word. When we see careful exegesis of passages every week, it teaches us to look for certain things ourselves so that we rightly handle God’s Word.

  2. says

    You are so so so blessed to have grown up with your dad’s preaching. It’s hard to see the awful decline in good preaching when it’s not the norm for you. I long to go to church and come away feeling fed. It’s very sad that in our rural area Gospel-centered churches with expository preaching aren’t in existence. We go each week to church and come away longing for more. It makes podcasting such a God-send. I am enormously grateful for men like John Piper and Rick Gamache so that we can learn from good preaching even though it isn’t available in our own church or even within an hour’s drive.

  3. says

    By the way, Brian Daniels and his family and I are in the same church family.

    Growing up in many different churches, I wasn’t fed in His Word and wasn’t growing to be more Christ Like.

    Now, I am at a wonderful church that I am so thankful for our pastor who does have compassion for us, sheep and does preach expository to us every Sunday. I still have a lot to learn as I listen to his sermon and learning to apply it to my life.

    Hungry to eat His Word,
    ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

  4. Stephen Altrogge says

    Brian – Isn’t is great how God uses preaching to conform us to his word and teach us to be better students of his word?

    Courtney – You’re right, I am fortunate! I can’t believe I get to hear such good preaching week after week. And the fact that it’s my dad makes it even better!

    Guerite – So good to hear that you’re in a solid, Bible preaching church!

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