Some Questions about Preaching

For more than a decade, I’ve been preaching almost every weekend. In preacher terms, that qualifies me as a relative noob. In that time a number of questions have stuck in my mind concerning what I’m doing when I attempt to preach. Here are a few.

  • When does speaking become preaching?
  • What is preaching trying to achieve?
  • Is the intent of speech what defines it as preaching?
  • Is the content of speech what makes it preaching?
  • Is a particular method or approach what defines preaching?
  • Are preaching and teaching synonymous?
  • Does preaching need to be public speech?
  • How large an audience is required to define speaking as preaching?
  • Does preaching need to be spoken words?
  • Is recorded speech preaching?
  • Is recorded speech preaching only if it was originally live, public, speech?
  • Is the role of a public herald the archetype for a preacher?
  • Is ‘street preaching’ the purest form of preaching?
  • Is teaching the Bible in the Christian community preaching?
  • Is teaching the Bible in small groups preaching?
  • Is preaching defined by the person who preaches?
  • Does ordination make the speaker a preacher?
  • Does specific training make the speaker a preacher?
  • Are sermons preaching?
  • Is every part of a sermon preaching?
  • Can written words be preaching?
  • Is the Bible preaching?

What is Preaching?

If you already know the answer to that question, then likely this blog will disappoint you. For the last 15 years I’ve been a Preacher in some capacity. But I’ve always had a nagging question; is this what preaching is meant to be?

I’ve been fortunate to learn from some great Preachers, each with their own style and approach but broadly doing the same thing: standing in a church building, usually on a Sunday morning, presenting a monologue on a Biblical text or Gospel message. Is that Preaching?

I believe in Jesus Christ, I know we need to share the Good News, but I’m not entirely sure we’ve got Preaching right. Join me as I wander in search of some possible answers.