Role of Preacher

Quick blog this morning, with a quick question.

Do you feel as though the primary role of the preacher is to inform or persuade?

Don't cop out on me and say "both." Which one is more important?

6 comments:

Symbian Guru said...

Inform - the Word doesn't need salespeople, just needs to be repeated accurately to do its thing.

Andy Rodriguez said...

Persuade.

By its very nature persuasion includes content, namely what you are trying to persuade. So you don't lose the informing piece.

But I think preachers have a responsibility to help convince non-believers the truth of the Gospel and to convince believers to live more faithfully. I don't just want non Christians to be informed of Jesus' death and resurrection, I want to present it in a way that is compels them to give their life to him. I don't just want Christians to be informed of the dangers of materialism. I want to convince them to sacrifice and sell their unneeded toys and give the money to the poor or to church planting work being done in Japan.

I also think some preachers may use the line, "It's not my job to change hearts. I just here to declare the Word." as an excuse to not put in the hard work for a good sermon. I know what they mean and recognize that the Holy Spirit is the one who convicts hearts, but I also think God works through the preachers study time and sermon crafting time.

Morever, there is a Biblical precedent for it. At the risk of proof texting . . .

Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. (1 Cor. 5:11)

Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 9:22)

Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. (Acts 18:4)

For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 18:28)

As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ[a] had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women. (Acts 17:2-4)

elenburg said...

Neither. Information is just data. The preacher should equip the flock to go out and multiply. Okay, maybe that is more along the lines of persuade, but in an educational manner.

Craig said...

Inform. One of the reasons I am so skeptical is because of all the persuading going on out there. Give me some good information and I will be persuaded.

James W said...

A little late in reading your blog, but let me contribute:

We are called to make disciples. The Bible is not for information but life transformation (2 Tim 3:16-17). So on that basis, I very much believe I preach to persuade. I am not as good at persuading as I am at informing, but that is my hope and intention every time I teach and preach.

Deb said...

Chris, I thought this was a very interesting question. I was anxious to read your answer. Did I miss it? Although I'm really an and/also person on this one, if I HAD to choose, I'd go with inform. With the idea that if we speak God's truth, the Holy Spirit will persuade. There are so many who can persuade the masses but their teaching is false. But honestly, in a preacher, I look for a persuasive person speaking from a foundation of truth.