What is the greatest need of the hour? I would argue that the greatest need of the hour is a revival in the faithful preaching of the word of God. In his book, Called to Preach: Fulfilling the High Calling of Expository Preacher, Dr. Steven J. Lawson writes:
“In every generation, the church of Jesus Christ rises or falls with its pulpit … No church, no denomination, no movement rises any higher than its proclamation of the word of God. The importance of preaching for the edification of believers and the evangelism of the lost cannot be overstated. Over the centuries, every history-altering era of church history has been defined by the strength of its preaching. And every spiritual low season has been marked by a feminine in the land of the hearing of the word of the Lord. When the pulpit is strong, the church is strengthened, and her witness to the world is fortified. But when the pulpit is weak, the church languished in spiritual listlessness, and society suffers for it” (9).
Do you have a burning passion for preaching the Word of God? Are you discerning God’s call upon your life? Are you at seminary, training for the ministry? Are you already in the ministry and preaching regularly in the pulpit? Well, then Dr. Lawson’s book, Called to Preach: Fulfilling the High Calling of Expository Preacher, is for you. In nine chapters, Dr. Lawson covers all areas of expository preaching: (1) Discerning the call; (2) Proclaiming the word; (3) Exalting the Lord; (4) Exploring the text; (5) Crafting the sermon; (6) Delivering the sermon; (7) Connecting the truth; (8) Elevating the exposition; (9) and disciplining the life.
Whatever stage or season of life you find yourself in, whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the pulpit or fresh out of seminary, this book is for you. Once this book hits the market, you will want to get it right away. I wish I had this book back when I was in seminary. As I read through each chapter, my soul was edified and encouraged. My convictions were given deeper roots through each page, my practice was challenged, and my preaching helped. If there is one preacher you must learn from it is Dr. Steven J. Lawson. His burning passion for seeing a recovery and revival in pulpits is contagious. Not only does Dr. Lawson give the reader helpful advice from his own experience, but he also pulls from the rich mines of church history to teach his students. As you read through this book, you will find helpful and stirring quotations from giants of the past. You will be convinced, more than ever, to fulfill the high calling of expository preaching.
To whet your appetite for this book, I will leave you with a few quotations from Dr. Lawson:
- “Biblical preaching is the vibrant heartbeat that pumps spiritual life into the body of Christ. The Scripture rightly preached in the power of the Spirit will elevate worship and mature believers. And a biblical pulpit will mobilize Christians in the cause of the gospel outreach, both locally and globally. Truly, the church is strongest when the pulpit is strongest.” (10-11).
- “Our greatest subject in the pulpit is always God. We must preach the glory of God first and foremost, before we declare anything else, and prioritize God for who He is.” (53).
- “Great preachers preach a great Christ. We must always be proclaiming Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Regardless of the culture in which we serve, or the expectations of our listeners, we relentlessly uphold the supremacy of His saving death.” (62).
- “As you stand in the pulpit, open-heart surgery occurs when you unsheathe the sword of the Spirit – the word of God – and wield it in the strength He provides” (143).
- “Your abilities should never remain stationary. Either you are progressing, gaining greater precision and power in the pulpit – or you are regressing. There is no standing still. You are either growing in your gift as a preacher – or reverting” (157).
- “The purity of the messenger affects the impact of the message. Power in the pulpit starts with the integrity of the preacher. Nothing can be more important than the minister’s pursuit of holiness. God must prepare the preacher before the preacher can prepare the message” (175).
- “Godliness is non-negotiable for every preacher. Who we are is more important than what we do. Our godliness is more important than our giftedness, our purity than our preaching, and our maturity than our ministry. What we are before God takes precedence over what we do before people. How we live is more important than how we labor. Our walk with God is more important than our work for God” (186).
May God raise up a new generation of preachers who lift up the banner of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.