Preaching is the pastor’s most important duty to his ministry. This preaching should be founded on the Word of God. The Lord has chosen preaching as His method to bring lost souls to Christ as well as edify existing believers in Christ. MacArthur’s handbook on Pastoral Ministry beautifully emphasizes the importance of preaching to a pastor’s ministry work by saying: “No man can be a good pastor who cannot preach, any more than a man can be a good shepherd and still fail to feed his flock.”<note:MacArthur, MacArthur Pastor’s Library on Pastoral Ministry, 204–5.> The only qualification that outlined a pastor’s functional role (the rest of the qualifications were moral) in 1 Timothy 3 was that he is able to teach (and his teaching comes through his preaching). Christ’s ministry, as well as the ministry of the early church, placed a strong, central role on preaching.<note:MacArthur, MacArthur Pastor’s Library on Pastoral Ministry, 205–6.Ibid., 205–6.>
Phil Newton’s article “Decisive Preaching” provides an excellent guide to doctrinally sound application when preparing expository messages.<note:Phil A. Newton, “Decisive Preaching,” The Founders Journal: The Posture of Preaching, no. 74 (Fall 2008): 12–20.> Newton begins his article with a summary on how the goal of expository preaching is to persuade people in making a decision grounded on the Word of God instead of merely manipulating people to make spontaneous, groundless decisions.
One of the primary functions of the church and ministry is to evangelize the lost for Jesus Christ. Since Christ commanded His church to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20), the pastor’s responsibility in evangelism should remain of crucial importance. The church is to fulfill Christ’s “Great Commission”, and the church and ministry can only fulfill it when a pastor takes the leading initiative to partake in evangelism.<note:MacArthur, MacArthur Pastor’s Library on Pastoral Ministry, 247–48.> MacArthur said it best in his commentary on the Great Commission when he said: “The Lord has given His church a supreme mission and that He calls every believer to be an instrument in fulfilling that mission”.<note:John F. MacArthur, Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1985), Matthew 28:16.> Failure for the church to engage in fulfilling the Great Commission is, as Rogers states: “the sin of high treason against Heaven’s King.”<note:Rogers, The Adrian Rogers Legacy Collection – Sermons.>