This past Sunday, we considered what preaching is and why we do it. We believe that the essential task of preaching is to expose God’s word and bring it to bear upon a church. And we believe this because God has ordained to both bring people to saving faith and build them up in faith through His Word.
So we don’t ultimately need the insights and wisdom of any man, we don’t need a motivational talk to get us amped up for the week, we don’t need a manipulated emotional high, and we don’t need to simply download a bunch of interesting or helpful information. We need God’s Spirit working through God’s word.
That’s why we preach straight from texts of Scripture.
But while this weekly, corporate preaching of Scripture by those called to lead and teach the church is important, it shouldn’t be the only place God’s word is being spoken in the church.
If God’s word is not only the way God reveals himself to us, but also the way God works in and among us (Heb. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17), then it should permeate everything we do as a church. We should seek to bring God’s word to bear on our conversations, on our relationships, on our advice-giving, on our interactions at work or school.
Jonathan Leeman uses the concept of “reverberation” to talk about this concept:
“Picture it this way. The evangelist or the preacher opens his mouth and utters a word, God’s word. But the Word doesn’t sound just once. It bounces or reverberates. It reverberates through the church’s music and prayers. It reverberates through the conversations between elders and members, members and guests, older Christians and younger ones. God’s words bounce around the life of the church, like the metal ball in a pinball machine. But the reverberating words shouldn’t stop there. The church building doors should open and God’s words should echo out the doors, down the street, and into the member’s homes and workplaces.” (Word-Centered Church)
When I think about all our interactions as a church—men’s/women’s studies, singing worship songs, hosting each other in our homes, talking with our kids—my greatest prayer is this: that God’s word would be spoken, that our hearts would be receptive to God’s word, and that the Spirit would build us up in all wisdom, faith, love, hope, perseverance, and everything else that glorifies God and gives us great joy!
May we be a church reverberating with God’s word, and alive to God’s Spirit working through it.