2008 – Resolution on the Primacy of Preaching

Whereas, the ministry of preaching, i.e. the proclamation of the Word, has been diminished over recent years, in favor of other forms of communication that tend more towards entertainment than instruction, and

Whereas, the time spent in the preaching and/or teaching of the Word of God has decreased in the average worship service, even in Bible-believing local churches, and

Whereas, the content of preaching has retreated from the proclamation of the whole counsel of God and clear presentations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and

Whereas, there has been a growing demand for multiple-step programs and formulated problem-solving to be taught in local churches, together with the development of counseling ministries, apart from the preaching and teaching ministries where the good counsel of God’s Word may be provided for all to hear, and

Whereas, Scripture establishes the priority of preaching the Word in the local Church, at all times, because faith comes by the hearing of God’s Word (Romans 10:17) and,

Whereas, the Apostle Paul, admonishes those who are pastors, elders and bishops to preach the Word (II Timothy 4:2), under all circumstances and at all times because it is profitable unto all the needs of those who hear it (II Timothy 3:16, 17), and

Whereas, it is the duty of preachers to be well-prepared to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and to rightly divide the Word of Truth (II Timothy 2:15) before their hearers;

Be It Therefore Resolved, that we, the members of the Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America, meeting in Shipshewana, Indiana, on June 17-19, 2008, do hereby agree that we will devote ourselves to establishing and maintaining the preaching (proclamation) of the Word of God, not allowing any other worship activity, as valuable and worthy as it may be, to eclipse the preaching and teaching of the Word, whereby we follow the example of reading, explaining (Nehemiah 8:8) and applying God’s Word, lest preaching become a mere intellectual exercise without bearing fruit in the lives of the hearers;

That we resolve ourselves to give sufficient time to the study of the Word and preparation of our preaching so that we come before the people with God’s Word and not the words of a man, and that we pray earnestly that we may preach it in the power of the Holy Spirit and not in the weakness of the flesh;

That we are determined to please the Lord by “feeding the flock of God” rather than please the people by tickling the ears with “smooth things” (Isaiah 30:10) that fail to produce salvation and sanctification;

That we emphasize biblical doctrine in our preaching, so that our people not only know what they believe, but also why they must believe it,

Finally, that we guard our pulpits from those who would scatter the flock with unsound teachings that elevate the wisdom of men to equal authority with the wisdom of God’s Word.