I don’t mind being called a preacher. One of my lifetime goals has been to be a good preacher. That takes hard work. You know that. Good communication is never automatic. Sometimes you may think you’re coming through clearly only to be surprised when a member of the congregation, or even your wife, without your asking, shares with you that your message didn’t come through. We’ve all been there!
I want to write in the next few posts about helping your message come through.
The greatest privilege in the world is to have people listen when we speak. But I never assume that the congregation comes to listen—to really listen. Rather, I usually assume they approach my message with a ho-hum spirit. Therefore, I have to earn the right to be heard every Lord’s day. We owe it to our congregations to prepare and then present good meals. I think that’s what Solomon had in mind when he wrote about the Preacher:
In addition to being a wise man, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge; and he pondered, searched out and arranged many proverbs. (Ecclesiastes 12:9)
Did you notice where preaching should begin? With being . . . before doing. Before you teach the people you are to be a wise man. Remember how Jesus chose twelve men, “that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14). Notice the order? First they were with Jesus . . . then they preached.
The hard work of good preaching begins with the fear of the Lord—true wisdom. Don’t assume its presence. As you work hard to cultivate a genuine, growing relationship with God, wisdom will come.
Don’t take any shortcuts with that first step.