13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
As the passage above (1 Timothy 4:13) makes clear, to the Apostle Paul the centrality of preaching in Christian ministry was critical. He knew that the fruit of that was the working of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ producing godliness. However, its neglect produces its own fruit. I am not exaggerating when I state that most ministries today are built on entertainment, personality, crowd-gathering events, gimmicks, programs, and any thing entrepreneurs can come up with to draw people together that simply appeal to the flesh, which can be summed up by one term: pragmatism. However, that was not nor has it ever been the Biblical model of a Christian ministry.
The words “devote yourself” in my translation of 1 Timothy 4:13 above are of the verb πρόσεχε, which is the Present tense, Indicative mood, Active voice form of προσέχω (prosechō), which was a nautical term for holding a ship in a direction, to sail onward. It gives us the idea “to hold on one’s course.” Paul gave Timothy the proper course to hold. What was it? Was it to try to build his church using pragmatism, which is relying on fleshly means, which is nothing more than operating according to the wisdom of this world? Of course not! No, it was not entertainment or meeting people’s “felt needs” nor is it conforming to the latest societal fad such as Woke, Critical Race Theory, and Intersectionality. No, his course was to be to the Word of God alone. The fruit of devotion to this proper course would produce godly fruit that God would bless. The fruit of devotion to pragmatism, not matter what form, the ways of the flesh, and the wisdom of this world will only produce religious, spiritually dead people, no exceptions.