There seems to be a value placed on everything except the Word. I hear things like, "wow, God really moved in our service today, the preacher didn't even preach, all we did is music." Really?
I also hear when it is time for the music, "now is the time for praise and worship," and when it is time to receive an offering, "now is the time to praise and worship in a special offering." However, I have never heard someone introduce the preaching of the Word as "now is the time to praise and worship with the Word."
One of the ways we can recognize the devaluation of preaching is the time and importance placed on it. I heard one preacher say that they sing for a hour but can't see any reason for preaching longer then 15 minutes because of the attention span of the hearer. What?
There are 134 verses in the New Testament alone on the importance of preaching the Word of God and many times you will find that our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul or Peter taught and preached all day with NO music or praise team. I am not attacking the music aspect of the Christian life, but according to the Word of God we DO NOT grow in faith in music but we grow in faith by the WORD.
Music time will not build by faith.
Coffee time will not build my faith
Fellowship time will not build my faith
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God
The N.T. shows us how the O.T. saints understood the importance of preaching the Word of truth and righteousness. To name a couple:
2 Peter 2:5 ESV if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
Jude 1:14 ESV It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,
WORD NEEDS TO BE GIVEN TIME TO BE PREACHED:
1 Peter 1:24-25 ESV for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, (25) but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
Hebrews 4:2 ESV For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
WORD MANIFESTED THROUGH PREACHING
Titus 1:3 ESV and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;
COMMAND TO PREACH:
2 Timothy 4:2 ESV preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
PREACHING IS A LABOR AND TRAVAIL:
1 Thessalonians 2:9 ESV For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
PREACHING IS A WARNING:
Colossians 1:28 ESV Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
WHAT WE ARE TO PREACH:
1 Corinthians 1:23 ESV but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
PREACHING IS A DEMONSTRATION OF GOD'S SPIRIT AND GOD'S POWER:
1 Corinthians 2:4 ESV and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
WOE TO US IF WE DON'T PREACH:
1 Corinthians 9:16 ESV For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
In all of the N.T. one would not be able to find any such importance on any other part of what we include in our church services today, including the music time.