Tag: preaching (page 2 of 2)

10 Personal Observations I learned through preaching

I had the chance to preach at Grace this Sunday.  It was a great experience communicating with my church family.

image via Flickr’s NotAshamed

And I learned a few things about myself through the preparation and delivery of this sermon as I reflected on it.  Things that seemed more tangible than other time I’d preached.  See if there are some here you’ve experienced if you’ve ever preached.

10 Personal Observations I learned through preaching

 

1. Preaching causes me to pray more.

I was on my knees more this past week than I have been in a long time.  I needed a fresh word from God, fresh insights, and a message that was True.

2. Preaching causes me to study more.

I can’t just pull a message out of thin air.  I have to study the Scriptures a lot in order to prepare a message.  It was a rich time for me.

3. Preaching humbles me.

a) Knowing I’m preaching the Scriptures and people are learning them through that preaching…that’s both humbling and intimidating.

b) Knowing I’m being prayed for…that’s humbling, too.  I can’t tell you how many people I heard from directly offering an encouraging word of prayer.  It was powerful.

4. Preaching causes me to worship more deeply.

I felt a deeper dependence on God than on normal weeks, and I consequently felt a deeper level of worship.

5. Preaching causes me to be more aware of God’s presence

As I was working to craft my message, I was processing it throughout my days.  As I went about my normal activities, I felt more aware of God’s presence as I was consistently ruminating over deep truths.

6. Preaching stretches me.

I’m used to writing blogs and articles.  A blog is typically less than a page of typed notes.  An article is 2-3.  I had 10 pages of single-spaced, typed notes, for my 30 minute sermon.

7. Preaching refines my thoughts.

I’m an external thinker.  Which means that, in order for me to make sense of my thoughts, I need to express them externally.  Typically, that clarity for me comes through writing.  Preaching is another way that I externalize, and refine, my thoughts.

8. Preaching gets me fired up.

The more I meditate on the Scriptures, and what I’ll be communicating, the more I get fired up about sharing the Truth.  I was pumped, not nervous, when I came out on stage.

9. Preaching reminds me that pastors can be lonely people.

The role of a pastor can be lonely.  I studied by myself, prepared the message by myself, and delivered the message by myself, alone on stage.  Afterwards, I criticized myself for things I should’ve done differently.  A pastor may be in the spotlight, but there has been a lot of alone time leading up to that sermon.

10. Preaching drains me.

Preaching takes a lot of energy, because not only are you spending extra time during the week preparing, you’re also pouring your heart and soul into speaking.  I put a lot of emotion…not banging the pulpit though, mind you…into my preaching.  I was exhausted last night.

Have you ever preached?

Do any of these observations resonate with your experience?

 

 

 

Is “both” too much to demand?

I hate the expression, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”  I want both! I recently posted this to Twitter:

Would U prefer 2 sit under a pastor who knows Scripture really well but communicates poorly or who’s a gr8 speaker but knows less Scripture?

I received lots of feedback, ones that brought up more questions:

Which is easier to learn, Scripture or speaking?

What is our faith really built upon?  Polished speaking or sound theology?

Isn’t that why God made a concordance? (personally, this question made me laugh)

Here’s my thought.  Is “both” too much to demand?

Is the Gospel not worth our every ounce of effort to “get it right?”  Should we not study historical theology, systematic theology, original languages, multiple translations, other pastors, commentaries, dictionaries, surveys, hermeneutics, biblical theology, all with the end goal of communicating the “correct” Gospel?  What we believe is so important.  Paul rips the Galatian Christians because of their wrong belief:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7

What we believe, and what we lead others to believe, is highly important.  We owe it to those we are leading to get it right!

On the other side of the coin, is the Gospel not worth every ounce of our effort to communicate it effectively?  If we communicate poorly, we are really saying, “The Gospel is not valuable enough to me or for you for me to work on my communication skills.”  It’s not enough to just “get the Gospel right” because the Gospel was never meant to stay with you, but was meant to spread to the ends of the earth.  How does that happen?  (hint: It doesn’t spread through the water).  We need to continue to improve the way that we articulate it, thinking through the way that it lands on those to whom we are preaching.  Are you communicating in a way that leaves people offended at the Gospel (which is, by nature, offensive…you’re telling somebody that they’re a sinner, can’t do any good for themselves, and need someone to rescue them!), or offended that you continue to harp on your “pet” sins, elevating gray issues and condemning those who don’t have the exact same convictions?  Are people left more confused about God than when they came?  Or do they walk out left with a real choice, knowing full-well the meaning and implications of your message?  I’m not talking about the Gospel needing your eloquent speech (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).  I’m talking about the Gospel deserving a clear explanation, given in a way that people can understand and digest.

So, is it too much to ask for the true Gospel to be communicated well?  I don’t think so.

Proclaim Christ.  Proclaim him often.  Proclaim him well.

 
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