What is it intended to communicate?
Historically, the weightiness of the wood structure was intended to represent the priority and the proclamation of God’s Word. It was placed in a lofty position, central in the place of corporate worship – because its purpose was lofty. Indeed, from it the Word of God was to be preached each Lord’s Day, and many men were imprisoned or put to death throughout church history because they were faithful to that principle task.
The pulpit was substantial, so as to hide as much of the man behind it as possible so that it would not be him that was remembered, but the Lord and His truth. This was a serious task, and to step behind the pulpit was cause for the preacher to tremble.
It required sincere humility, not the false humility of many of today’s men who assert that they cannot presume to preach authoritatively. The pulpit was considered to be the sacred desk from which the Word of God would be explained and applied in the lives of church. It was through preaching that souls would be quickened unto life and repentance. Hearts would be transformed to bleed life and worship in response to the Scriptures, or they would be hardened to condemnation. What a great task! What a demanding one. For this reason, many throughout church history have contended that that the preaching of the Word of God was the greatest act of worship for the church, since it was the means by which God has ordained His truth to transform the lives of His people into the conformity of His Son.
It is no surprise then that the priority of preaching has been removed from many of today’s churches; the high and lofty place of the Word has all but vanished. The seriousness and authority of its proclamation have been replaced with a casualness that smacks of unimportance.
Make no mistake, the removal of the pulpit represents the deliberate assault on the priority of God’s Word in the contemporary church. Many today see the pulpit with disdain, and they’ve replaced it with anything but preaching – from dialogues and skits, talks and videos – anything to detract from the ministry of the Word. and should we wonder why? After all, Paul warned that a time will come when sound preaching would no longer be tolerated, but people would instead seek to be entertained (2 Tim. 4:1-4).
Nevertheless, our church looks forward to a special day.
Our church (a Grace Advance revitalization effort) was one of those that had long ago rid itself of its pulpit, but on March 29, 2015, High Point Baptist Church will formally re-install the primacy of preaching with the inauguration of our new pulpit built by one of our members. In so doing, we communicate a message that everything we do is central and subject to the Word of God.
We ask that you remember us in prayer during this special time. We’re calling it, “Pulpit Sunday,” and the service will be focused on the authoritative Word of God. Pray that it would be the start of a long lasting legacy of the faithful proclamation of the Gospel.
You can watch our promo video below. I think you’ll be blessed by it.