Why do you stand in the pulpit? What is your purpose?
The purpose of preaching is not to occupy time during the worship service. It is not to offer a little moral lesson or to suggest some interesting ideas for further thought. The purpose of preaching is to transform lives. The purpose of preaching is to make a difference – in the life of the preacher as well as the life of the listener.
A preacher without a purpose is like an architect who sits down at the drafting table to design a structure, but doesn’t know whether it will be a single-family home or a commercial warehouse. A preacher without a purpose is like an archer with no target. A preacher without a purpose is like a runner with no finish line. A preacher without a purpose is a waste of the congregation’s time and the preacher’s calling.
As we explore the place of purpose in preaching, it is important that one truth is paramount: it is God’s purpose that drives us, not our own. Proverbs 19:21 points out, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Preaching that focuses on human goals and purposes are destined for failure, though they may even appear successful for a season. The most important thing a preacher can do is identify God’s purpose in His Word, and effectively communicate that truth under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That is preaching with purpose.