Good preaching is not just teaching what to do this week or how to think about a single issue. It is forming us in the likeness of Christ. It is a means of grace used by the Spirit to chip away the remaining sinfulness and carve us more and more in the form of Jesus. It is training discernment, teaching us not only how to view one thing but learning how to look at everything through the lens of creation and covenant, Scripture and the life of our Savior, cross and future crown.
By the grace of God I am what I am… (1st Corinthians 15:10)
One of the greatest challenges in weekly preaching is remembering that you must meet your audience where they are and help them in their daily walk with Christ. The typical Reformed pastor spends a lot of time with books, reading old volumes of theology and sermons written by men who have been dead for many years, sometimes centuries. He may also spend time online or actively corresponding with other men about current theological controversies and the latest issue which has been designated the true test of orthodoxy. But when it comes time to write his weekly sermon(s), if he is a good pastor, he must remember that he was sent by Christ to shepherd a particular flock of sheep. He is not pastoring an audience on YouTube. He is not enlightening the broader presbytery by the brilliance of his exposition or saving his denomination by the power of his elocution. He is a shepherd sent to lead, feed, water, and protect particular sheep, and most of those sheep have very different priorities than their theologically attuned pastor.
Reformed churches are, rightly, critical of evangelicalish churches where the sermon is always something like Seven Ways to Have a Better Marriage or What Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Can Teach Us About Loving Jesus. Such preaching neither edifies saints nor points the unbeliever to Jesus Christ.