Do You Let Others in Your Church Preach? You Should!
The question above is all wrong to begin with. The church belongs to Jesus and then we can rightly belong to each other. But titles have limitations.
But do you? Do you let others who are a part of your church family preach?
Why is it healthy for the church family when someone besides the Senior Pastor preaches? This Sunday Kevin Zacharias, a member and Elder in our church family, will be explaining God’s word and persuading us to obey it for God’s glory and our joy. Here are 7 reasons why this is good for any church family.
1) Because it is right to share. Not everyone in the church is gifted to preach, but for those who can explain and proclaim God’s word, it is biblical to share the privilege of preaching with them.
2) Because it is good to let others wrestle. Preaching is hard work and it is good for our church family to see others take on this privilege and responsibility of rightly dividing God’s word. It is also good for the lead pastor to share the burden that preaching can sometimes be.
3) Because it corrects preacher misconceptions. Some people think that only “trained preachers” or “professionals” can study and correctly teach the word of God. Education is important and so is calling, but empowering lay people to preach demonstrates that it’s not just the pastor’s job to love God’s word and share it. The pastor is not the only person God can use.
4) Because it is biblical to equip others for the work of the ministry. Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-12 that God has equipped people to equip other people. The church is a people where gifts should be identified and exercised for the building up of the body.
5) Because God uses diversity in the body of Christ to reach and teach a diversity of people. Not all people learn the same way or think the same way. Sometimes it benefits people to hear from someone who speaks truth in a unique way. Listening to a different person can be a good thing.
6) Because it helps maintain a biblical continuity. When the pastor is gone it is good to have others from our church preach and continue to follow the book or section we are currently going through. If others can preach, it keeps us from always having a guest preacher who preaches a sermon that may have little to do with where we are in the life our church family.
7) Preaching is not about one man being a Bible hero. God-fearing, Christ-centered pastors who love others with God’s precious word are worthy of appropriate honor (See 1 Timothy 5:17-22). But the Bible is about glorifying God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Letting others preach is a healthy safeguard that keeps the Senior Pastor from thinking preaching is all about him. Others can and should preach. The pastor is not the hero. Jesus is.
Not everyone in the church is gifted or qualified to preach, but the “preacher” is not the only one who can and should preach in a healthy local church. Pray for Kevin this Sunday and pray that God will raise up many preachers and teachers in the body of Christ for His glory.
A caveat: I certainly do not mean that just anyone should preach. It is the responsibility of the Elders and the primary teaching pastor to make sure that qualified men who can handle the text are the ones who are holding out the words of life. The preaching of God’s word is not to be a free-for-all, and great caution should be exercised in deciding who can preach and who can’t. Just as it is true that the one who teaches will incur a stricter judgment (James 3:1), so also the one who allows another brother to preach to the people whom Jesus shed His blood, will also be incur a strict judgment. So let others preach on occasion, but be careful. Preaching about the creator and redeemer is not to be taken lightly.