At age 15, I left the dorm life for home, having just completed Grade 10. My father was the Secretary of Keswick Conference in Kenya, and that year, he welcomed about 350 people to the Eldoret Girls’ School. The Keswick meetings lasted an entire week. Personally, I was struggling to overcome negative teenage emotions at that time. The first day’s “Bible Reading”, the expository hour, focused on Ephesians Chapter 1. I remember thinking, “Wow! I wish I could preach like this! This is amazing!”
Preaching matters! Think about it. Our sense of hearing is so fragile. So delicate! Play one note on a piano, and a split second later, the sound has passed, lost in time. Speech, though, is more complicated. It takes hundreds of tiny sounds to form words. And yet, years later, you can still remember some of those words. More than that, words form a worldview; they convey a message. What messages do you remember from your teen years? Here’s what moved me, making Grade 11, four weeks later, such a different experience as I returned to dorm life.
Like hundreds of other missionary kids – MK’s, or we sometimes use the term Third Culture Kids, TCK’s - I experienced the power of words. Our family saw the WORD affecting young and old, rich and poor, men and women. Hearts were changed, people were saved from their sins, families were touched, and life improved in innumerable ways.
Paul asked a series of questions. “How then will they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one about whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10:14,15
Today, across Latin America an ingathering of people into the Kingdom of God is happening, the likes of which has never previously been observed. Preachers are being called by the Lord to spend their lives sharing the Gospel. People by the thousands are hungry for a change in every country in Latin America. I’ve watched massive evangelistic campaigns, and I’ve been part of door-to-door surveys and invitations. Space doesn’t permit me to share examples, and time doesn’t permit us to delve deeper into this.
But when we are gathered around the throne of God with people from every language, every ethnic group, and every time and place we will praise the Lord forever. That’s when we will really know a great truth: Preaching matters!
By David Phillips.