Lest We Grow Weary or Why Go to Church?


I think preaching is that most difficult task assigned to man. I say that not because I am a preacher and want sympathy, but because I am a preacher and I know well how hard it is at times. There’s also a lot of competition in the world, and many people vying for attention. What with all the big-named megawillowback preachers on the television, writing books, and going on whirlwind big-city speaking tours, sometimes it is just hard to keep up.

But what about the local preacher in a small church, behind an old pulpit, in a town full of glitz and glitter and better funded, better looking, younger, hipper, cooler preachers? What is the preacher to do when faced with the pressure to preach Truth or to preach popularity?

One other consequence of the fundamental character of preaching which I have stated must be the perpetual function of the pulpit. Every now and then we hear some speculations about the prospects of preaching. Will men continue to preach and will other men continue to go and hear them? Books are multiplying enormously. Any man man feel reasonably sure on any Sunday morning that in a book which he can choose from his shelf he can read something more wisely though and more perfectly expressed than he will hear from a pulpit if he goes to church. Why should he go? One answer to question certainly would be in the assertion that preaching is only one of the functions of the Christian Church and that, even if preaching should grow obsolete, there would still remain reasons enough why Christians should meet together for worship and brotherhood. But even if we look at preaching only, it must still be true that nothing can ever take its place because of the personal element that is in it. No multiplication of books can ever supersede the human voice. No newly opened channel of approach to a man’s mind and heart can ever do away with man’s readiness to receive impressions through his fellow-man. There is no evidence, I think, in all the absorption in books which characterizes our much reading age, of any real decline of the interest in preaching. Let a man be a true preacher, really uttering the truth through his own personality, and it is strange how men will gather to listen to him. We hear that the day of the pulpit is past, and then some morning the voice of a true preacher is heard in the land and all the streets are full of men crowding to hear him, just exactly as the streets of Constantinople when Chrysostom was going to preacher at the Church of the Apostles, or the streets of London when Latimer was bravely telling his truth at St. Paul’s.”

There will always be the need for preachers and for the proclamation of the Gospel. If you are a preacher: Keep at it! If you are a listener, Keep at it!

Soli Deo Gloria!



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