Preaching Articles

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

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 times I’d preached. See if there are some here you’ve experienced.

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 two to three. I had ten pages of single-spaced, typed notes for my thirty-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. Afterward, 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.

Ben is the small groups pastor at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN. He blogs regularly at Life and Theology, wrestling through subjects such as small groups, parenting, leadership, social networking, and counseling…all from a distinctively biblical point of view.

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Talk about it...

David Buffaloe

commented on Sep 5, 2012

Love it - and I agree

Keith B

commented on Sep 5, 2012

Good article

Ben Shain

commented on Sep 5, 2012

You nailed it! I have been the youth pastor of my church for 15 months. I am thankful for the occasional times my pastor gives me to preach. But lately I have had the opportunity to preach every service as he recovers from surgery. All of these things are becoming extremely real to me at this time. It is teaching me some awesome discipline in my life and stretching me to become for Christ.

Leslye Haller

commented on Sep 5, 2012

When I get home on Sunday, I am exhausted. Preaching does take everything out of you--the responsibility, the work, everything. It's not uncommon for me to collapse on the couch and sleep for an hour, waking up still exhausted. But it's a rewarding exhaustion knowing I'm "tired for Christ"!

David Nuhfer

commented on Sep 5, 2012

I could not agree more with all of these thoughts. They are excellent.

Ben Reed

commented on Sep 5, 2012

Thanks for the kind words, guys...glad the article resonated with you!

Pastor Sandy .

commented on Sep 5, 2012

Thanks for the great, personal and heartfelt article, Ben!

Theodore Payne

commented on Sep 6, 2012

wonderful points, and when we read this it reminds us of why we do what we do on a regular.

Bill Williams

commented on Sep 6, 2012

"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." Given the emphasis in the Bible regarding community, I wonder if that is a good thing? I wonder sometimes if too often perhaps we are reading the Bible through the "individualistic" paradigm of American culture...

Rev. Gordon T. Eldridge

commented on Sep 7, 2012

I agree with you on all points except that we are alone in our preaching of the Word. We have the Spirit speaking through us to the people in our congregation. If we don't have that we need to re-examine our calling.

Anthony Jones

commented on Sep 10, 2012

I agree as well. But as already stated when we're on stage it should be the Holy Spirit working through and not we alone.

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