What do we “do” as preachers? Are we giving people more information (biblical, practical, spiritual)? Are we giving them encouragement? Are we shaping their affections? Kevin Vanhoozer has a suggestion….
From The Drama of Doctrine:
The ministry of the Word involves far more than ideas. Thanks to a host of postmodern prophets, we are more aware than ever of the power of language to shape human thinking and experience. Language creates a “world,” that is a cultural framework in which we live and move and process our experience. Preaching, teaching, and evangelism are the means by which the gospel becomes that all-encompassing framework that allows us to think and experience truth, goodness, and beauty in light of the history of Jesus Christ. The Ministry of the Word involves more than communicating a few truths; it involves transmitting a whole way of thinking and experiencing. Preaching and teaching should be “evangelistic,” then, in the sense of enabling people to indwell the gospel (=evangel) as the primary framework for all that they say and do. (74)
So what do preachers do? They create worlds….world that are shaped by the gospel.