What should we, as pastors, love about preaching?

I love to preach God’s Word.  I love to proclaim the gospel.  I love to instruct and shepherd God’s people publicly.  These are gifts from God you and I experience each week as pastors that I have been freshly reminded of these last 3 weeks being out of the pulpit.  Yet, I have been reminded of something else that I deeply love about preaching that I have also missed these last 3 weeks.  It is something that we should especially love about preaching that I fear many do not.  It is something viewed as a burden…a means to an end…not a unique gift we are privileged to receive week in and week out.  I am referring to…

“The hard, intense wrestling match with God’s Word to prepare to preach.” 

There is something special about the hard, time-sensitive labor that is preparing to preach God’s Word in a few days.  It feeds and nourishes our own soul in a way that moves us to preach powerfully what we have found through intense study and prayer.  I recently had a young man say to me, “I love to preach, but I hate to prepare.”  This could have been his way of saying the labor to prepare is hard…because it is.  Yet, there is a legitimate risk in the heart of every preacher to “love to preach, but hate to prepare.” 

Dear brothers and fellow pastors, yes, the labor is hard.  It is intense.  It must be done in less than 6 days regardless what has happened to you in the week.  Yet, we must see our preparation as a gift from God.  It is the time where we study with an intensity that nothing else can produce.  Through that study our hearts and mind are pricked, challenged, fed, broken, instructed, shepherded, and molded by God Himself through His Word to make us who God wants us to be when we stand before our people to preach His Word. 

Therefore, pastors grow to love your preparation.  Pray that God would feed your soul as you prepare to feed others.  If you are not a pastor, pray earnestly throughout the week that God would do a great work in your pastor as he prepares to preach.  We have many joyful burdens as part of our calling as pastors.  I submit to you this is one we should all grow to love.

Posted in Preaching
12 comments on “What should we, as pastors, love about preaching?
  1. Ernie says:

    Brian – I totally agree. It is in the weekly preparation that I often see God answering my prayer for “Help, Lord!” if it’s just not coming together. Suddenly thoughts are jelling, an outline emerges, and away go the fingers on the keyboard. One way I come up with an outline is to ask myself about half way through prep time, What if I had to preach this right now. What would my points be? And sometimes I try to think about preaching it to 12 year olds. If they can follow my outline, adults will too. Thanks for your ministry in this very valuable blog for us average pastors out here seeking to honor Christ through the ministry of the Word.

  2. I love the preparation! It is very hard work, hours of reading, thinking, praying, and writing – but oh what nuggets and precious things that can be uncovered by faithful and diligent preparation. Not to mention as you did the value to my own soul as I stand as a sinner before sinners to break the bread of life! I love preaching! I love the ministry and I love our God!

  3. I love the preparation for a sermon and would only hope that I would have very little interruptions during that time and yet I realize, it may not always be that way.

    It’s a great challenge to exposit a passage of Scripture and then to form the outline of an orderly flow of thoughts pertaining to that passage. It is all done for the glory of God, which is a great privilege too, so that those that hear, can grow more in faith, through hearing the Word preached.

  4. So timely! I am a new preacher and am working on only my third Sunday morning sermon (in as many weeks). I’m learning that which you write. I had emailed another brother (a pastor and fellow blogger) about the experiences and he echoed your sentiments. I needed this today, thanks!

  5. royceehall says:

    I totally agree. I just spoke with Pastor Bob Russell a few weeks ago and he said that he would study the Bible and prepare lessons and sermons from the time he got into the office until noon every day, and that everyone knew they were not to bother him at that time. Then after noon he had an open-door policy, so anyone could talk to him who wanted to. What advice or structure do you recommend for pastors who are trying to balance their time in sermon preparation with the various other ministries a pastor does (counselling, hospital visits, etc.)?

  6. Thank you for these thoughts. I must say that I would be one to see that I hate to prepare, although I recognise that the ‘wrestling’ involved is what really prepares a man to preach. A helpful and timely reminder.

  7. Paul Young says:

    Thanks for this important reminder. John MacArthur said the secret to being a good expositor is to “stay in your seat.” He is absolutely right. There is simply no shortcut to the hard work that goes into faithful biblical exposition. May all of us who are privileged to do this as our livelihood never view this as a job, but a joy. Blessings!

  8. Tony Addinall says:

    As a bivocational Pastor its even that much more arduous a task. Between balancing secular work and the ministry you find that you have to pray even harder for the discipline to be prepared to preach the word in season and out.

  9. Robert Ferguson says:

    Although I am not yet in a pastor position, I will be eventually. I am in the beginning stages of Methodist Candidacy and really appreciate these thoughts and notes. In my own limited experience, I have found that the intensity of study really does enhance the spiritual sensors and keeps me tuned in to what the Lord wants of me. Thanks for the input here, brothers.


2 Pings/Trackbacks for "What should we, as pastors, love about preaching?"
  1. […] unashamed … workman « Bless Your Pulpit! Prizing our Preparation January 13, 2011 Bryan Croft is right. […]

  2. […] “Therefore, pastors, grow to love your preparation. Pray that God would feed your soul as you prepare to feed others. If you are not a pastor, pray earnestly throughout the week that God would do a great work in your pastor as he prepares to preach. We have many joyful burdens as part of our calling as pastors. I submit to you this is one we should all grow to love.” (Click here to read the full article.) […]

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