John Piper gave one of the most powerful addresses for pastors and preachers that I’ve ever heard. He presented it at the Resurgence Text & Context Conference, a ministry of the Acts 29 Network. The message title: ‘How My Pastoral Ministry Shapes My Pulpit Ministry’.
There’s no fluff or bending to the culture here. The culture of Heaven and the culture of imminent Hell overthrows the culture of the world in Piper’s view — which is correct. Only in the last 3rd of the message does Piper reflect on the impact his pastoral ministry has on his preaching. The main reason is because people don’t know what they need. Scripture tells us we need a magisterial view of God’s character and the sense of life and death reality in the gospel. God is their greatest need, and they don’t realize it until it’s been given to them. A majestic sense God is the greatest application they need.
Piper spends most of his time elevating the role of preaching as being the vessel through which God speaks to his people. Piper defines preaching as ‘Expository Exaltation.’ The preacher is to expose the text, and then must exalt the text to it’s rightful place. Preaching is an act of worship. There are not two parts to the worship service, the worship and the other thing called preaching. Preaching is exaltation, and therefore is worship.
Preachers are to catch people up into another world–to live in another realm, where we die in the world and we live for Christ. Pep-talk preaching is profane, and it betrays a pastor who is not moved by the Word of God. We must be moved by the Word of God so that our people will follow.
There is so much in this message that I’ve already been through it twice. This will definitely make my top ten this year.