Preaching prioritizes church health. Pastors and churches should always prioritize church health over church growth. Congregational health consists of fidelity of doctrine, holiness of lifestyle, and unity of fellowship. Preaching should reject the bigger-is-better delusion. The pulpit keeps the main thing the main thing. Focus the church on its Christ-given mission. A Bible-teaching pulpit nurtures a Bible-regulated congregation.
The preacher should live as a preacher, watching his life and doctrine. The preacher should also labor as a preacher, giving himself to the hard work of prayer and the ministry of the word. And the preacher should lead as a preacher.
The pastor is often judged by the work he does outside of the pulpit more than the work he does in it. Yet there is no biblical dichotomy between the pastor as a preacher and the pastor as a leader. Preaching is leadership!
First and foremost, the pastor-teacher is charged to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-2). His leadership should flow out of his preaching, not compete with it. In a real sense, expositional preaching should result in expositional leadership. As goes the pulpit, so goes the church.
Why should the pastor-teacher lead from the pulpit?
Preaching builds pastoral influence. Leadership is influence. Influence requires trust. Trust takes time. Your title does not give you credibility. Your character does. The best way to gain leadership influence is to live and preach the word. The power is in the pulpit, not the boardroom. Don’t go into meetings as if you are the C.E.O. of a corporation. Go to the pulpit as if you are the shepherd of a flock who labors in preaching and teaching.
Preaching develops biblical convictions. The primary job of the pastor-teacher is to make disciples who think and act biblically. The disciple-making process consists of teaching believers to obey the commands of Jesus. This is the heart of pastoral work. Preaching cultivates a biblical worldview in strategic ways nothing else can. Preach in such a way that helps your people understand what they believe and why they believe it.
Preaching regulates corporate worship. Many churches live with a divorced but cohabitating relationship between music and preaching. However, music in worship should be an extension of the ministry of the word (Colossians 3:16). The corporate worship of the local church should be word-centered.