It seems such an antiquated method to deliver information. A speaker standing in front of a live audience explaining the meaning of a passage of scripture or expanding on a biblical topic. Isn't there a better way to do this? Maybe it would be better just to beam a program to people's TV or computer; or maybe, if it has to be live, one could put on a drama or a film.
Preaching has always been God's way. God used prophets to speak to the children of Israel instead of using paintings or angels. Jesus initiated his ministry by preaching 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near'. His disciples continued the tradition: after the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, it was Peter's preaching that caused them to repent. And throughout the history of the church, strong preaching has been a feature of church life. Names like John Chrysostom in the 4th century, Francis of Assissi in the 12th Century, George Whitfield in the 18th Century and John Stott in the 20th Century were all known for their inspiring preaching. But preaching without good content would be fruitless. The Apostle Paul explained his focus in 1 Corinthians 1:22-23 'Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles'. The focus of a message may be another topic: but if the topic is not related to Jesus Christ in some way, it can't be biblical preaching.
Listening to preaching is also an act of worship if you listen with an eager mind and responsive heart. JI Packer says 'congregations never honour God more than by reverently listening to his word with a full purpose of praising and obeying him once they see what he has done and he is doing and what they are called to do'. Looking to take away some solid applications should also be both the responsibility and joy of the listener.
Darrell Johnson commented 'God has chosen to change the world through the ministry of preaching, through the exposition of biblical texts in the power of the Spirit who inspires the text. Through preaching, something happens. Something transformative, empowering and life giving happens'