Many among us are saying "We have had plenty of preaching. Now what we need is experience." I do not believe that is true. We have not had plenty of preaching. We have had plenty of talk. But talk and preaching are not one and the same, and furthermore, the dead are not good listeners. So they have been around the talk, but until their hearts are awakened, until the deafness is removed from their ears and the blindness from their eyes, they do not hear even when there is powerful preaching. There is a great dearth of preaching, but I want to say to you, dear friends, that when God burdens our hearts to be concerned and to be earnestly in prayer for a matter we would be wise to pray for the best.
Here are three reasons why a Word-centered revival is much better than an experience-centered revival: 1) The converts of experience-centered movements fall away at a far greater rate than the converts of Word-centered movements; 2) Experience-centered movements are almost always brief. Word-centered movements are lengthy; 3) The impact of an experience-centered movement upon society is slight in comparison with the impact of a movement that is Word-centered.
We obviously live in a time when there are tremendous social evils that need to be changed, where there are immense problems such as drunkenness and addiction in various forms, etc. The movement that simply flashes through and does not impact society is vastly less than what we need. My own conviction is that what we really need is a reformation revival whereby there is powerful preaching of the Word of God under the influence and administration of the Holy Spirit, and a deep, enduring, and thorough work of God transpires.
– From the sermon "A Solemn Charge To Preach The Word" by Richard Owen Roberts. Used by permission.