The preacher’s area of responsibility is a mystery to some brethren, even though the visible activities in which he is involved, are easy to understand. For example, he delivers a message from God’s word on Lord’s Day morning, evening, and teaches Bible classes at other designated times. And most folks understand that these godly endeavors require substantial periods of preparation.
The key to the preacher’s work then, is what he “does” with the Word of God.
Paul told Timothy, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction (2 Timothy 4:2).
And to the church at Corinth, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).
Worldly wisdom will not reveal God and His Will (1 Corinthians 2:1-7; 2 Corinthians 1:12) — that can only be done by preaching (Romans 10:14) — an activity that many in our world deem as “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:23).
The preacher is to be involved in a particular form of discourse that requires the active participation of the listener (Romans 10:17; cf. Mark 4:20; James 1:22-25; Psalm 119:47-48). While the preacher is responsible for a Bible lesson that has content worthy of the listener’s time, the listener’s responsibility is to concentrate (Psalm 1:1-2) and consider the things said in light of Acts 17:11.
An active, interested, informed, and obedient listener should be the ultimate goal of a gospel preacher.