Editor's note: The Rev. Gardner C. Taylor died on April 5, 2015.

Preaching is a central act of pastoral leadership, but it's not the sacrament that many Protestants make it out to be, says the Rev. Gardner C. Taylor.  In fact, preachers are asked to speak a word that is too large.

Taylor should know. Widely recognized as one of the nation’s most talented and influential preachers, he served as senior pastor at Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1948 to 1990 and is now retired and living in Raleigh, N.C. He is a former president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton in 2000. He is the author of “How Shall They Preach,” “The Scarlet Thread,” “Chariots Aflame,” “We Have This Ministry” and “Words of Gardner Taylor.”

In an interview with Faith & Leadership, Taylor discusses the role of preaching in pastoral leadership, the state of preaching today, the challenge of being a pastor, and more.