These days, Christians can slip into treating preaching like a consumer commodity and preachers like buffet selections. With the internet, a believer can choose a different style and a different preacher for every mood and preference.
However, my church realized they needed a pastor. A flesh and blood pastor is crucial for the local church because preaching is an act of spiritual warfare. A pastor is a shepherd who fights in the trenches next to his sheep, defending them from the wolves. You can’t simply phone that in! Only an in-person preacher can bear the burdens of the congregation, weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
That’s what we see clearly in Scripture. Preaching and teaching are normative functions of the shepherding pastor (1 Tim 3:2b, 5:17, 2 Tim 4:2, Titus 2:1). That is to say, pastors care for the flock by preaching and teaching, rebuking those who contradict sound doctrine (Titus 1:9). Can a preacher disconnected from a local church—in fact, completely oblivious of it’s existence—defend that flock from false teaching? Can he fend off the wolves? Can he shepherd the flock, exercise oversight, or rule well?
A church ought to receive preaching from a man who knows the church’s struggles, their strengths, their needs, their victories—in short, knows them. True biblical preaching not only rightly interprets the Word, but it also lands and applies uniquely and specifically in the people who are sitting under that Word.Read the rest.