There’s one thing I know about preaching; everyone is a preacher. You may not think of yourself as a preacher, but you are. It’s true.
Everyone preaches. The question is not if you will preach, but what will you preach.
What will you preach? Your values. You preach what is valuable to you by the way you live. You will spend both time and money to be involved with what is important and valuable to you. If you let me follow you around for a couple of weeks, I would be able to determine what you preach.
Everyone preaches a set of values. The way you can discover if what you are preaching is valuable (not only to others, but yourself) is to ask this question:
“Is my preaching something that God would preach?”
Or in other words:
“Do I value what God values?”
The reason this is important to ask is because God defines what is valuable. He is the source of value. So would my preaching about my free time be the message God would preach? What about my relationships? What about my financial spending? Will my preaching line up with what God wants to preach?
How can you know? Let me suggest 2 ways:
1. Learn what God values. In the Bible, we find a message that God wanted to preach. It is a timeless message meant for all people in all places. However, God shared that message in the Bible to a particular audience through a particular writer. In order to understand what God finds valuable, I need to understand what that writer preached to the original recipients. I ask questions like “Why would this message be important to me if I lived in that time?”, “What was God saying about Himself there?”, and “In what ways could I have responded to this preaching? What outcome would those actions have?”
2. Take a value inventory. In your favorite spreadsheet program (or a plain piece of paper), make a left-hand column of 15-30 minute intervals of your day. To the right of the time slots, summarize how you spent that time (wrote blog article, watched playoffs, made dinner, phoned project manager, planned meeting, surfed Facebook). Group similar activities together based on an action verb (ie: watching TV vs free time). Reflect on the percentage of time spent and the energy invested in these groupings. Then compare those values to what God says is valuable (like loving your neighbor, submitting to & loving your spouse, and sharing your faith to name some).
You will preach by the way you live. If you want your life’s preaching to have value, preach a life that God would preach.
I would love to hear how you evaluate what you are preaching. Share your thoughts below!