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Sermon #PP06


A Sermon on the Call to Ministry



Sermon Description

Who is to preach? What is the call to ministry? These questions come naturally to any man who rightly feels the weight of delivering the word of God to the people of God. Can any man stand in the pulpit and preach? Are there problems with the increasing number of churches relying on lay preachers? In this lecture on the call to ministry, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles this controversial topic from his series on “Preaching and Preachers”. More than this, he challenges preachers to think deeply about the notion of calling. While the idea of calling is often used by Protestants, sometimes it remains ambiguous in meaning and empty, and without specifics on how to apply the idea in a concrete manner. With great clarity Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines not just a definition of calling but how a man can begin to test his own calling. Dr. Lloyd-Jones considers further the training of preachers. He discusses various departments of theology such as systematic theology, the use of biblical languages, and church history. Listeners may find with Dr. Lloyd-Jones a surprising alternative to the dominant training model for homiletics. This lecture will benefit the listener whether they are a lay person in their church, a man testing his calling to preach, or a seasoned pastor trying to help other men discern their calling.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The preacher is called by God through an inner conviction and external confirmation by the church. A call to preach is not something that is self-appointed or chosen as a profession.
  2. A call to preach is accompanied by a sense of unworthiness and inadequacy due to the weight of responsibility. The preacher is delivering God's message to save souls.
  3. The preacher requires training and preparation through gaining life experiences, education, knowledge of scripture, theology, church history, and languages. However, preaching itself cannot be taught and is a gift of God.
  4. The preacher should not focus on the mechanics or performance of preaching. Preaching should be natural and the preacher unselfconscious. The preacher should focus on loving God, loving others, knowing the truth, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
  5. The preacher will face difficulties and discouragement. Reading about historical revivals and great preachers of the past provides encouragement.
  6. The preacher must preach the whole counsel of God's word, not just parts. He must preach systematically and logically, not just throw out disconnected thoughts.
  7. The preacher must be accurate and precise in his preaching, which requires knowledge of the biblical languages and training. However, the preacher's goal is to convey the message to ordinary people, not just scholars.
  8. Lay preaching, where any Christian can preach without a call or proper training, should be avoided. Preaching is a solemn task that requires a call from God and the church.
  9. The preacher is primarily a speaker, not just a writer. He must have the gift of speech and be able to communicate verbally. If a person cannot speak well, they are not suited to be a preacher.
  10. The preacher must have strong character, wisdom, patience, understanding of people, and spirituality. Natural abilities are secondary. Godly character and spiritual maturity are primary.

Sermons: Preaching and Preachers

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.