Three of the walls in my office are filled with books. But I have left one wall clear of books (for now) so that I can hang three pictures of men that mean a lot to me. First, I have a picture of Martin Luther. I believe I am here today because of his radical calling to understand justification by faith alone. I have a picture of Charles Spurgeon. He was the prince of preachers, the perfect balance of reformed theology with a heart for evangelism.
Then I have a picture of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. His seriousness in the calling to preach has greatly impacted me in several ways. The first time I read his book, Preaching & Preachers, I was deeply convicted and humbled by my calling to preach. Recently, I have picked up this book to read it again. The other day I read about the seriousness of the preacher. I do not think I ever take the job of preaching lightly. But I am not sure I take it serious enough. As you read this short quote, consider ways in which you might encourage your preacher today.
"The preacher must be a serious man; he must never give the impression that preaching is something light or superficial or trivial . . . I simply make the general statement now that a preacher of necessity must give the impression that he is dealing with the most serious matter that men and women can ever consider together. What is happening? What is happening is that he is speaking to them from God, he is speaking to them about God, he is speaking about their condition, the state of their souls. He is telling them that they are, by nature, under the wrath of God--'the children of wrath even as others'--that the character of the life they are living is offensive to God and under the judgment of God, and warning them of the dread eternal possibility that lies ahead of them. In any case the preacher, of all men, should realize the fleeting nature of life in this world. The men of the world are so immersed in its business and affairs, its pleasures and all its vain show, that the one thing they never stop to consider is the fleeting character of life. All this means that the preacher should always create and convey the impression of the seriousness of what is happening the moment he even appears in the pulpit. You remember the famous lines of Richard Baxter: I preach as never sure to preach again and as a dying man to dying men."
Maybe one way you can help him with the seriousness of preaching is to grow in your listening to preaching. Its never too late to check out my book that deals with the act of listening to preaching: Helping Johnny Listen.