I have often heard people tell pastors, “If you preach the Word, people will come.” To which I say, “No they won’t.”
I have often heard people tell pastors, “People want to hear the Word, they’re just waiting for a guy to come along and teach it.” To which I say, “No they aren’t.”
There’s this whole side of the Bible we ignore. A whole side that says the gate is strait, few enter. Men love darkness and hate the light and God’s Word is light. If you follow Christ (the Word made flesh) the world will hate you because it hated Him. All the prophets were ignored and killed. The Word became flesh and was rejected and killed.
Who are we trying to kid? It’s as if John the Baptist’s head was not cut off, or that Peter was not crucified upside down, or that Paul was not imprisoned and executed. Why do we pretend that if we simply preach the Word people will come out of the woodwork to hear it? It’s not true. It never has been.
There may have been brief moments when the Spirit moved on a group of people, but they were brief, short-lived and died off quickly. Do we not know our history?
This does not mean we should not preach the Word, we should. But it builds false hopes in many young men to tell them that if they simply teach the Word they will succeed in the Church.
Why do you think there are so many church growth schemes? Because people do not want to hear the Word. Don’t fool yourself and others.
Young pastor: people do not want to hear the Word but you are to preach it anyway. They will leave your church after calling you names and ripping your character falsely. They will verbally trash you to anyone who listens, and there are many who will listen to those words. They will misapply your words and completely miss your true intent. They will butcher everything you say and miss the point entirely.
But preach the Word, because the Word Himself will judge you in the last day. Preach as one who will give an account. Preach as if you will meet Him, because you will, and by His Word you will be judged.