As the pages of the New Testament testify, the ministry of the Word encampasses a wide range activities. Over thirty verbs are employed. According to Peter Adam, these may be categorised as follows:
Words of Information: teach, instruct, make known, remind.
Words of Declaration: preach, proclaim, cry out, testify, bear witness, declare, write, read, pass on, set forth.
Words of Exhortation: call, denounce, warn, rebuke, command, give judgment, encourage, appeal, urge, ask.
Words of Persuasion: explain, make clear, prove, guard, debate, contend, refute, reason, persuade, convince, insist, defend, confirm.
Words of Conversation: say, speak, talk, answer, reply, give answer.
Adam observes that ‘only a few of the words have to do with providing or passing on information. A merely didactic form of the ministry of the Word is inadequate. A high number of the words have to do with exhortation and persuasion, which have as their purpose a response within the hearers. We might also notice that the ministry of the Word can be continued in the context of ordinary conversation.’
Peter Adam, Speaking God’s Words : A Practical Theology of Expository Preaching, IVP, 1996.