Preaching Like An Adolescent Boy
Unlike a vast majority of Christians, I thoroughly enjoy standing up and preaching a sermon. I believe God has given me this desire and delight to serve Him in this way, and that not everyone has been given this passion. It is a privilege and an incredibly weighty responsibility to preach God’s Word, one that must never be taken lightly. Because this is true, I’ve sought to grow in my understanding and knowledge of preaching over the years.
Currently, I am not an incredibly experienced preacher–before 2013, I had preached less than 20 times in my whole life. But one of the best ways to grow in preaching is through experience–we have to get up there and do it a lot. I’ve heard some people say that it takes at least 200 sermons before a preacher really begins to find his own voice! Until then, we are trying out different approaches to sermon prep and delivery and often imitating those we admire. This is comforting for younger preachers like me, because we are reminded that learning how to preach takes time and experience–thus, we need to show ourselves grace.
I know that I am still finding my voice; if I’m honest, in many ways I feel like an adolescent boy whose voice is deepening and occasionally lets out an embarrassing high pitched screech in the midst of his new-found voice! In time I will find my voice, but for now I need to keep striving and trusting God who works through weak vessels to bring glory to His name. It’s not a polished sermon or experienced preacher who saves anyone, but God through the gospel–the gospel is the power of salvation (Rom 1:16)!
At the beginning of last year I prayed that God would allow me to preach more in 2013. Specially, I prayed that God would allow me to preach at least 12 times. I was not sure how this would happen, but amazingly God allowed me to preach 15 times in 2013! 3 of these sermons were at my home church [My pastor Joe Thorn is very generous in sharing the pulpit with other guys who are gifted or growing in preaching], 9 other times were at different churches to fill in for a pastor who was out of town, 1 time I preached at a high school chapel, and 2 times I preached open-air street preaching sermons [one of these only lasted seconds, as the crowd immediately dispersed as soon I started preaching]. I’m very grateful for the opportunities I had to preach and can see how I am growing as preacher by God’s grace. More repetitions in the pulpit really is invaluable for those who want to grow in preaching.
If you’d like to hear some of my sermons, they can be found here.
Photo Credit: David Kracht via Compfight cc