The Art, Craft and Science of Preaching and Teaching God’s Word #22: Preaching as an introduction to a teaching is so much fun, it’s odd that so many people fail to do it. A few minutes of preaching makes it clear that there can be no more profitable use of the next twenty minutes of your listeners’ lives than to listen to you, at rapt attention. If the topic you’ve selected is the answer to every problem they’ve ever had, or even the answer to one problem they’ve ever had, you’ll have no trouble selling your teaching. “Why is it crucial to preach at the beginning of a teaching? Because it’s no fun teaching God’s Word to a roomful of bored, confused people.” That ain’t teaching, it’s preaching, and it helps people understand why they’re there.
If you mean it, you can make huge claims for what is about to happen to your listener, and if you’ve chosen your topic well, no one is going to be disappointed. It’s P.T. Barnum’s dictum turned right side up: there’s someone hungry for God’s wonderful Word born every minute, and the Father will steer a bunch of them to your living room, where their lives are about to be changed forever.
And don’t get me started about how much fun it is to preach at the close of a teaching.