On Preaching: Westminster Catechism, 1647
Being in Taiwan, I get to see many temples. Besides all the images, the main thing that strikes me is that none of them are set up for teaching. If I compare with a Christian structure, the main design feature is the gathering hall where people can listen to an oration. (Note: Soka Gakkai is a Japanese Buddhist sect which does have the meeting rooms and preaching.) Meanwhile, I am listening to orations that are recorded as I am shuttled here and there. The following instructions struck me as being pertinent to this subject:
Q. 158. By whom is the Word of God to be preached?
A. The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office.
Q. 159. How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?
A. They that are called to labor in the ministry of the word, are to preach sound doctrine, diligently, in season and out of season; plainly, not in the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; faithfully, making known the whole counsel of God; wisely, applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers; zealously, with fervent love to God and the souls of his people; sincerely, aiming at his glory, and their conversion, edification, and salvation.
Q. 160. What is required of those that hear the word preached?
A. It is required of those that hear the word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer; examine what they hear by the Scriptures; receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind, as the Word of God; meditate, and confer of it; hide it in their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives. - Westminster Larger Catechism.