Pastors are often expected to perform many tasks. They preach; they teach. They marry; they bury. They counsel; they encourage. They pray; they plan. The list goes on. But, among all these responsibilities, one rises above the rest and should consume the majority of the pastor’s time: the preparation and delivery of biblical sermons.
The priority of preaching is clearly seen in Acts 6:1-7. The Hellenist widows were being neglected in the daily food distribution and they began to complain (vs. 1). The twelve apostle’s response is telling; they said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables” (vs. 2). The apostles did not deny the importance of taking care of the widows, but they understood the ultimate priority of preaching. Their solution was simple: select godly men to take care of the widows, which would allow the apostles to commit themselves to prayer and preaching (vs. 3-4). The church selected men to take care of the widows, and the apostles continued to proclaim the gospel. The result is stated in verse 7: “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.”
So, pastors should pray, prepare, and preach. It is biblical (the apostles did it), and it is practical (people heard God’s Word and sinners were saved). May those of us called to full-time ministry always remember the central role of preaching in our ministry!