As preaching is always a contemporary exercise, the needs, questions, concerns and beliefs of the hearer must be engaged thoughtfully by the pastor who communicates the Word. In preaching, our desire is to anticipate objections to the text that our hearers may have so that we may meet them with grace and truth in the sermon. There are issues in every age that may be considered to be particularly at odds with the Scriptures. We may call these fault lines for the gospel in culture. A fault line is a place where two massive plates in the earth’s crust collide. When this happens the earth literally quakes. In like manner, there are issues in every age and culture that will clash with the Truth and we should be aware of these.
In our age, human sexuality, freedom, the nature of truth and authority, human autonomy and the creation of our selves are all massive collision points that preachers will encounter. As such, we want to be able to wisely speak to these issues with two things in our hearts and minds. First, an utter faithfulness to God and his revealed Word. Second, a sensitivity to communicate clearly and compassionately when encountering something along a cultural fault line in the text. As a pastor engages with people he ought to make note of their questions about God, theology, culture, and the gospel and address these both directly and indirectly in his preaching. We want to do this with skill, wisdom and courage.
Finally, the church exists for the mission of God. In fact, God has a people for his purposes on the earth. Part the very essence of the church is to make disciples of others by sharing good news and teaching people to follow Jesus. As preachers of the Word, we hope to thoughtfully engage lost people in our pulpit work and ministry. This means addressing lost people and their concerns and questions and spiritual need for a Savior. By this I do not mean simply giving brief alter calls or times of decisions. I mean speaking to the lost people in the room. If there are no lost people present, the preacher can and should speak to congregation as if they were actually there. We do this for two reasons. First, to consider the lost as people and for them to know that we care about their world, their lives and concerns. Second, we want the congregation to care about those far from God and learn from the preacher how to speak to them with grace and truth. In preaching the Word, the hope is to lead the mission of God amongst the people of God. This keeps the focus of our task on the Great Commission clear. This task the church must keep clear in the preaching of the Word. JI Packer describes this well:
Apart from the preaching of the Word, however, the church will never have the resources to do this [witness and give a reason for our hope]; it will constantly tend to forget its identity as the people charged to go and tell, and may actually lose its grip on the contents of its own message, as it has done many times in the past. History tells of no significant church growth and expansion that has taken place without preaching (significant, implying virility and staying power, is the key word there). 
 JI Packer, “Introduction: Why Preach” in Samuel T. Logan, The Preacher and Preaching : Reviving the Art in the Twentieth Century (Phillipsburg, N.Y.: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co., 1986), 21. Emphasis in original.