Earlier this week, Neal Pollard, preacher for the Bear Valley Church of Christ in Denver, CO, and director of the Bear Vally Bible Institute asked several preachers if they would write a short article for his “Preacher and His Work” class. The assignment was to sum up the work of preaching in “one word.” Below was my offering…
The work of a preacher could be summed up as “magnification.” Surely all of us have owned or used a magnifying glass at some time or another. The purpose of a magnifying glass is of course, magnification…that is, to make something larger than life. When I consider the work of a preacher, this is precisely what I believe a preacher should attempt to do. As a preacher, I want to magnify Jesus and His church. I want to make them larger than life! I want to magnify them to the point that everyone in my community can see Jesus and his church through my life and my work. One of the greatest failures of which a preacher can be guilty is not a failure to make converts to Christ, but rather to exist in obscurity in any given community.
Many years ago, my father who also is a preacher, gave me some good advice when I first started preaching. He said, “Son, remember. You’re not a policeman entrusted with the job of enforcing God’s law. Rather your job as a preacher is to make everyone aware of God’s law.” In other words, “magnification.” Isn’t this very similar to the words of God given to the prophet Habakkuk when God said, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2). The message was to be written so plainly that one who was running could read it. In order for that to occur, the words would have had to have been large – “magnification.”
Satan has done an effective job of magnifying all the wrong things in life and making the right things seem microscopic. Entertainment, sensuality, wealth, power, pride, possessions, and social status have all been magnified to the point that some people think life is summed up in these things. The job of a preacher is to take those things of real importance, which have become overshadowed by worldly things, and bring them into focus.
The gospel of Christ is too important to pass by and not see. Jesus, our Savior, is too beautiful to exist in obscurity. Therefore, as a preacher it is incumbent upon me to magnify Jesus so that all the world can see Him. It’s my mission to magnify His gospel of grace so that none pass by without understanding the gift that could be theirs. Whether or not one chooses to accept Jesus and His gift of salvation is up to them, but what is up to me is to make sure they see the choice before them, and that requires magnification.
“…And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified” (Acts 19:17).