Our Scripture verse on preaching is Exodus 4:10-12 which reads: "And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."
Our quote on preaching today is from Richard Wurmbrand. He said, "It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted [the communists'] terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy."
Our first topic is titled "The Call to the Ministry, Part 4" from "Lectures to My Students" by Charles H. Spurgeon. He writes:
When I think upon the all but infinite mischief which may result from a mistake as in our vocation for the Christian pastorate, I feel overwhelmed with fear lest any of us should be slack in examining our credentials; and I had rather that we stood too much in doubt, and examined too frequently, than that we should become cumberers of the ground. There are not lacking many exact methods by which a man may test his call to the ministry if he earnestly desires to do so. It is imperative upon him not to enter the ministry until he has made solemn quest and trial of himself as to this point. His own personal salvation being secure, he must investigate as to the further matter of this call to office; the first is vital to himself as a Christian, the second equally vital to him as a pastor. As well be a professor without conversion, as a pastor without calling. In both cases there is a name and nothing more.
Our second topic is titled "The Qualifications of the Preacher, Part 17" from "The Preacher and his Preaching" by Alfred P. Gibbs.
This section is titled: HE MUST BE FIT FOR THE WORK (PART 2)
The preacher must seek, by all the means in his power, to develop this gift. It is not enough for a Christian to possess this gift of public utterance; he must also develop it.
(a) This gift should first be earnestly coveted. The believer is exhorted to “covet earnestly the best gifts." He is told to, “follow after charity [love], and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." “Prophesy” here has the force of forth-telling, and not of fore-telling. It refers to the ability to set forth the Word of God to the edification of the hearer. A prophet, in this sense, is one who is able to communicate the mind of the Lord to others. Once again Paul enjoins the believer and says, “Wherefore brethren, covet to prophesy." From these Scriptures it is clear that the preacher must, first of all, have a deep and holy desire to be a mouthpiece for the Lord. This desire, implanted by the Lord in the believer, must then be allowed to develop unhindered in the atmosphere of prayer, Bible study, godly living, and active participation in the Lord’s work.
Our third topic is titled "Tools of the Trade, Part 1" from "Biblical Preaching" by Haddon W. Robinson. He writes:
It is difficult to think. It is more difficult to think about thinking. It is most difficult to talk about thinking about thinking. Yet that stands as the basic task of homiletics. Homileticians observe how preachers work and attempt to get inside their heads to discover what goes on there as they prepare to preach. Then they must describe the process clearly enough to make sense to a student. The assignment borders on the impossible.
Whom should homileticians study? Certainly not every preacher. There are duffers in the pulpit as well as on the golf course. To discover how to do something well, we usually study those who are effective in what they do. Yet well-known pulpiteers who write “how I do it” books reveal as many variations in procedure as there are authors. More baffling perhaps are the non-methods supposedly used by some effective preachers. These ministers who “speak from a full heart” or “share” sometimes insist that while they have abandoned the rules, their sermons still hit the target. Such preaching has to be reckoned with. As professional skills go, sermon construction ranks among the most inexact when compared, say, with cooking spaghetti, removing an appendix, or flying an airplane.