Preaching is the central part of most Protestant church services. As part of the service the Bible will be read and then the minster or pastor will explain the passage and help the congregation to think about how to apply it to their lives.

The importance of preaching can be seen in the length of time given to the sermon – around 30 minutes in many Protestant churches.

In the Bible preaching is seen to be important. Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word”.

Writing to the Church in Corinth Paul says:

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.1 Corinthians 1:21

Paul means that God reveals Himself through the preaching of the Bible.

In the New Testament, Paul writes:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17

This passage points to four main ways the Bible is particularly useful and how preaching is designed to make these possible:

  • teaching – through preaching the minister/pastor seeks to teach about God and what He wants for, and expects from, His people
  • rebuking – the minster/pastor aims to challenge people about what is wrong in their lives
  • correcting – the minster/pastor seeks to put people on the right track in life
  • training – the minster/pastor aims to help people to be the best they can

The sermon also:

  • explains the Bible reading from earlier in the service
  • relates the Bible to everyday life
  • gives a Christian perspective on issues/events of the present day
  • gives guidance on how to live the Christian life
  • challenges people to become Christians