October 04, 2009
The Moravian Minister is not only Priest and Pastor, but is also Preacher. The Moravian Minister is one called to proclaim the Word and Will of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and enfleshed in Jesus Christ.
The Preacher is called, chosen or ordained by God to communicate or transmit divine truth, and in this exercise not just the physical human being but the whole personality must be called into action. Everything that goes to make up the human personality is required in the successful heralding of the Gospel message. The Preacher though, having done all of this, must be under the compulsion of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who must speak through the Preacher and give life to the spoken word. If the spirit is not there to set the heart aflame, if he is not present to send our words like darts into the hearts of those who come to be fed, stirred and inspired; if the spirit is not there to teach those who preach so that they themselves may be enabled to teach, the exercise is vain and valueless and the preacher becomes, a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Wherever and whenever the Holy Spirit is lacking, the sermon however well structured, however eloquently delivered, however great the diction and oratorical skills, becomes nothing more than self gratification and an exercise in futility.
Preaching if it is to be effective, must have a purpose, and that is to lift human beings-men and women, boys and girls from a lower to a higher level of existence, lifting them from earth to heaven, from things created to the Creator, from man and manmade objects to God. Or it may be to meet the ordinary needs of ordinary people in their ordinary everyday life. Down through the long history of the Jewish/Christian Faith God has always called his servants and endowed them with his Spirit to proclaim his truth. Martyn Lloyd-Jones one of the greatest of British preachers says that the work of preaching is the highest and the greatest and the most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called: if you want something in addition to that I would say without any hesitation that the most urgent need in the Christian Church is true preaching; and as it is the greatest and most urgent need in the church, it is obviously the greatest need of the world also.
The Ordained Moravian Minister is called not only to be Pastor and Priest, but to be a Preacher of the Word as well and this preaching must be with conviction and be imbued with the Holy Spirit. Finally, the Preacher must at all times preach to him or herself before preaching to the congregation. The message must affect the Preacher first.