The Main Thing

by | Aug 30, 2023 | Missions

What did Paul do when he entered a city? What did Peter do on the Day of Pentecost? What did Stephen do when arrested? What did Philip do when he went to a city in Samaria? What was Jesus always doing? You know the answer: teaching and preaching the Word of God!

Preaching is the main task of a missionary. I found this illustrated once again in an article in the August & September 2023 Banner of Truth Magazine written by Rebecca VanDoodewaard entitled, “Jim Elliot and the Struggle of Preaching”.

Do missionaries struggle in preaching? Yes. How did Elliot struggle? Understand that Jim Elliot was a very gifted communicator who because of his giftedness was in great demand as a preacher before he went to the mission field where he was martyred with four others. Although greatly used and greatly gifted as a preacher he struggled in preaching like many preachers do today.

At 24 years of age he wrote in his diary (5 December 1951), “Terribly depressed after preaching last night. Felt as though I had no liberty, no power . . . How sadly and how slowly I am learning that loud preaching and long preaching are no substitutes for inspired preaching. Oh, its awful! To see a room full of people, waiting to hear a word from the Lord and have no words . . .”

Elliot wrote this after two years of preaching with the blessing of multiple conversions. Yet, he faced real depression and discouragement. Every preacher/missionary knows why. It is because he sees a lost world, the greatness of God, and sometimes, sad to say, a church that lacks zeal and fervency in prayer.

Since the main thing is preaching, and since preachers are the target of attack by the evil one, and since sometimes churches are weak in prayer, it is therefore time for the church to shake off her drowsiness, increase her prayer and plead for weak preachers who want to see Christ’s kingdom advanced.

This article is included in the September 2023 publication of RBNet Monthly. If you would like to receive this and other updates through email, please subscribe to our mailing list below.

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