I'll again be posting thoughts on Tony Merida's great book, Faithful Preaching, this week. I'm working through how to best integrate this in training preachers in Karis Church. I think it's an excellent read.
Chapter Two: Preaching for the Glory of God
In chapter two, Merida reminds us that our purpose as human beings is to glorify God. This, of course, is also the calling of preachers. When we take the pulpit as God's messengers, we are to proclaim God's glory and exult in His excellencies. The author writes, "A primary role of an expositor is to escort the hearers into the arena of God's Word, so that they may experience His glory."
If this is our calling, he argues, then we first must long for and truly experience the glory of God personally as preachers. He gives three tests. We must check our motivation, our message, and our manner.
Regarding motive, Merida says that the presence of indwelling sin, the pursuit of man's praise, a jealousy over other preachers, and an obsession with church growth, can all lead to a lack of focus on the glory of God.
Regarding motive, the author states that our pattern must be biblical exposition. Only the Scriptures proclaimed truly bring glory to God.
Regarding manner, he identifies (adding to Stott's list in Between Two Worlds) sincerity, earnestness, courage, humility, and love as essential character traits for the preacher. Without these, the Lord will not be glorified from our pulpits.
Here is Merida's summary of the chapter:
The glory of God should not only be our passionate quest for Christian living, but it should also be our goal as preachers. In order to preach for God's glory, we must first seek God's glory personally. We must then escort the hearers through God's Word, showing them His nature and attributes. Some ways for us to maintain a God-centered agenda in preaching is by checking our motive-to see if it is God-centered; by checking our message-to see if it magnifies God's voice; and by checking our manner-to see if it reflects Christ's character.