Who Should Preach?

“Preaching is truth through personality” - Phillips Brooks

Each preacher is a unique individual, having been led by His Lord on a unique path of preparation and refinement. At my current church in Beijing, we are pleased that a team of men from various nations and Christian traditions are serving in the ministry of the Word. (Yes, the masculine pronoun is an intentional choice. Men are the preachers in BICF ZGC.)

We do not expect any two preachers to be identical, but we do examine two areas of the preacher’s life – “their life and their doctrine”

(1 Timothy 4.16).


Things to Consider: Examining a Preacher's Life

References from church(es) and ministri(es).

Recommendation from the Small Group that they are currently involved in.

Recommendation from their current church's Elders, Deacons, or Ministry Leaders.

A demonstrated consistency of attendance in church and small group for several months. (It is possible for “ready” and “gifted” people to show up get enlisted to preach rather quickly. But this is rare!)

A servant heart, when the “take down” starts after the service are they helping?

Their speech and actions demonstrate kindness and respect for others.

Global vision, friendships and ministry concerns are broader than just “their kind of people.”

They are accountable to someone. That means another believer is searching and speaking into their life, urging them to daily repentance and faith.

Their relationship with the opposite sex is characterized by love, respect, modesty, and consideration – for them and for the testimony of the Gospel.

They actively try to “make things right.” Nobody is perfect! We all hurt others and offend God. But they consistently seek to walk in repentance and reconciliation with God and others.


Things to Consider: Examining a Preacher's Doctrine

They have an established pattern of daily Bible reading.

They benefit from books, websites, and resources that teach solid Biblical theology.

They are known as person who is thoughtful about Scripture and Kingdom truth. This is shown in their participation in their Small Group, good questions they ask during the Sunday night question and answer session, and wise counsel they give to others.

They are taking advantage of the opportunities for growth in the BICF; listening and taking notes during sermons, Tuesday Trainings, Seminars, seminary-level classes in church, resources on the church book table and website.

They can present their Testimony of salvation. As they do so the “Hero” in their story is Jesus Christ.

They are appreciated as a person who can effectively communicate Biblical truth. Most often we expect a person to have taught the Word in their Small Group and other settings before we would invite them to preach.

They can clearly and simply explain the Gospel of Jesus. They know how to present this Good News to people from different cultures and religions. They have had some experience in leading people to saving faith in Christ.

They are willing to be corrected by Pastors, Elders, and Leaders from church who want to improve their Biblical knowledge or communication ability.

They understand that commitment to Truth is visibly expressed in active membership in a local church that declares Truth. They have been a church member in your homeland and they seek to be a member of the church.

Be aware that the position of preacher is one of the central roles in the Church and brings with it a heavy responsibility, the position of preacher during the service is a privilege not a right and is subject to review and revocation by the Church leadership.