What Makes A Good Preacher (Part 1) - Acts 2:14-41 NIV
More than ever it’s important today for us to know what makes a good preacher - FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE! It’s not just popularity. Large crowds. Television or Internet fame. Who do you allow to speak into your soul? For that matter, do you have a basis for evaluating the preaching you hear at Church Requel?
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Rom. 10:14 ESV
God choses to use the gift of preaching to reach those who are not yet within His kingdom. This is not just “one of the jobs” of the pastor. Especially in small churches people are often looking for care - someone to talk to and to have by their side in difficult times. And certainly there is a role for shepherding. However it’s also true that we should be caring for one another. Preaching on the other hand is a spiritual gift. Not everyone has it but everyone needs to have someone speaking into spiritual life!
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” 2 Tim 4:2 ESV
Paul’s instruction to protege Timothy leads us to understand that preaching won’t always be “in season.” But we need to do it anyway. And the adjectives used - “reprove, rebuke and exhort” - doesn’t sound like the happy, pastoral model that many have in mind. God’s Words should penetrate through the thickest shell right into our hearts and souls. Peter gives us a perfect example in Acts 2. We learn 9 attributes…
#1 - A good preacher is one who _____________ .
Leadership is often overlooked. But a good preacher is always also a good leader. Cannot separate the two. There were 12 disciples there and any of them could have spoken to what was happening. But it was only Peter…
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd.” Acts 2:14a NIV
Take nothing for granted in this verse. “Peter stood up with the 11.” They all stood up. But it was Peter who spoke for all of them. “Raised his voice and addressed the crowd.” We learn later there were thousands! No PA!
Raised his voice - he must have had to shout and even then a miracle to be heard.
One quality of leadership is a “why not” attitude. Don’t tell a leader all the reasons something can’t be done. Find a way to do it! A leader, in particular, will stand up and speak out when others don’t.
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV
Not a matter of age - old or young. Leaders set the example. Not just in their words (“in speech”) but they follow that up by setting an example in the way they personally live out what they preach about (“in conduct”), but how they regularly affirm and put other’s ahead of themselves (“in love”), by how they live out their relationship with God even when they doubt (“in faith”) and by what you see is what you get (“in purity.”) R U evaluating the preachers you listen to by the same criteria?
#2 - A good preacher is one who ____________ .
“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!” Acts 2:14b-15 NIV
Preaching can never be just theory… or theology. A good preacher always starts where people already are. In this case, they’re wondering if the disciples had been drinking. Here is an important question - What are the questions Peter really wants to answer? Who is Jesus? Why does it matter? What is my spiritual condition? Why do I need Jesus?
But he doesn’t start there. Rather he starts where they are. Draws them in. If a preacher is put up on a pedestal, then those who hear him may aspire to be a Christian but believe it is only for super Christians. But if the preacher is relatable, identifiable - then he will be much more effective.
#3 - A good preacher is one who __________________ .
This may go without saying (you’d think), but I’m surprised at how many preachers today can preach an entire sermon and never mention it! Peter took his listeners’ questions and immediately went to God’s Word.
“No this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour our my Spirit on all people.’” Acts 2:16-17 NIV
How did Peter pick this perfect passage? Doubt he had the Scriptures memorized. I’m guessing he was studying that very passage himself trying to understand what would be happening when Holy Spirit came. A good preacher shares what they’re studying in their sermons! Paul:
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
There is a right way and a wrong way. Rightly handling means handling God’s Word with an understanding of correct doctrine. Not looking for proof verses to say what you want to say. Understanding the theme of the entire Scripture is about Jesus and how we live according to Him.
Put #3 and #4 together. A good preacher not only digs into the Word of God, but comes back out (correctly) addressing relatable issues.
#4 - A good preacher is one who __________________ .
A good preacher follows Christ’s leading. Christ leads with His Spirit. Peter explains what’s going on by referring to Joel’s prediction…
“In those days I will pour out my Spirit and they shall prophesy..’” Acts 2:18 NIV
A word about “shall prophesy.” We often associate this with fortune telling or future telling. But to prophesy literally means to share God’s words or Word. When a preacher follows the Spirit’s leading and preaches God’s Word, he is - by definition - prophesying! After all it is the Spirit Who…
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26 NASB
How many times have one of you come to me and told me that I spoke about something directly impacting you. “How did you know?” I didn’t! The Spirit did!
Next week - 5 more things to look for in a preacher!