Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2)
If you could tell a young preacher what to preach, what would you say? Some of us have been around the church long enough that we have become connoisseurs of sermons—at least we know what we like to hear and what we would just as soon not have to listen to. We don’t like some preachers because they are too negative. They major on themes that are intended to correct and rebuke. We don’t like other preachers because they are too positive. They don’t call out sin. They only want to make people feel good about themselves. There just aren’t enough good preachers to go around who say the right things to suit us.
After fifty years of ministry, my advice to young preachers is, “Preach the Word”—preach Jesus. The Gospel of John says that Jesus is full of “grace and truth” (John 1:14). He is the perfect balance of correcting, rebuking, and encouraging. Without correction, people grow wild in their foolishness and misdeeds. Without rebuke, people grow arrogant in their wrongdoing. Without encouragement, people grow discouraged and disillusioned in their lack of a sense of worth. Our culture and each of us personally need to be corrected, rebuked, and encouraged. And when the Word of God is handled correctly, it is quite capable of doing all three in an effective way.
Pray your pastor will be faithful in telling the truth in love.
Ken Heer was an ordained minister with The Wesleyan Church prior to his death. He served as a pastor, educator, and church leader for more than fifty years.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.