Nashville, TN — Christian proclamation requires Christ-centeredness in message, motivation, and ministry, H.B. Charles, Jr., told attendees Tuesday evening at the opening session of Proclaim 16, the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.
Charles, Pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL, urged all Christians, as well as church and ministry leaders, to realize: “[I]f you have Jesus, you already have enough.”
Christ’s sufficiency, as well as His sovereignty and supremacy, should not be “mere theoretical ideas,” he said. “Christ is to be the centerpiece of our message, our motivations, and our ministries. It’s all to be about Jesus.”
With Col. 1:28-29 as his text, Charles explained to the Christian broadcasters what it means to proclaim Christ. Proclaiming Christ, he said, requires:
Christian proclamation bears both a “great significance” and a “consuming subject,” Charles said.
While the Church needs a revival and a reformation that come only “through a renewal of truth-driven, Christ-exalting, Gospel-saturated proclamation,” too many pulpits lack such preaching, he said.
“Unfortunately, too many pastors and churches are preoccupied with growth at any cost,” Charles told the audience. Some churches “are filled with empty people” because their pulpits are empty of Christ-centered proclamation, he said.
Church and ministry leaders need to proclaim the “virgin birth, virtuous life, vicarious death, victorious resurrection, and visible return” of Jesus, he said. “It must be all about Him.”
Christ-centered proclamation requires warning and teaching people, Charles declared. “[The Apostle Paul] says if you are going to proclaim Christ in your ministry, you cannot be some ecclesiastical ear-tickler that just says what people want to hear.”
The Christ-centered motivation of Christian proclamation, according to Col. 1:28, is to “present everyone mature in Christ,” Charles said.
This demonstrates how Paul realizes God will make the final inspection. “He recognizes God is not impressed with our personal resumes, our ecclesiastical prominence, our ministerial accomplishments,” Charles told Convention attendees.
When Christian leaders stand before the judgment seat of Christ, “He will not ask us the size of anything,” Charles said. Instead, the inspection will be about the changed lives and Christ-likeness of those presented to Him, he said.
Christ-centered ministry calls for “diligent effort and divine energy,” Charles said, referring to Col. 1:29. Paul labored physically and spiritually to fulfill his motivation, and today’s Christian leaders should all do so as well, he said.
“If it bears God’s name, it deserves our best,” Charles told the broadcasters. “Godly living is hard work; doctrinal fidelity is hard work; spiritual leadership is hard work; intercessory prayer is hard work; spiritual excellence is hard work.”
Yet, he said, it is “the power and energy of Christ” that make the difference.
By Tom Strode
Published: February 25, 2016