There are some things in life that I both love and hate.
Preaching is one of them.
I love the intense rigor of preparing, of researching, of learning and of listening to God for what he wants me to say, but I hate that it rarely comes together as easily as I would like. I hate that during the week the passage of scripture or the topic consumes my thoughts and yet I love the end result of the process – the sense of having deeply engaged in scripture in a way that I normally wouldn’t unless I were preaching.
There are few things in life where I am perfectionistic, but preaching is possibly my achilles heel. A few years back I made a commitment never to spend longer than 8 hours on preparation ever again. I have pretty much maintained that but this week was one of the frustrating weeks where I couldn’t seem to pull my thoughts together coherently.
In the end it was all ok, but its a horrible feeling when you can’t seem to hear what God may be saying and when your own thoughts are lame and uninspiring.
I have come to realise that one of my core beliefs about preaching is that if we are going to do it, then it ought to be inspiring – not just informative – that seems to be one of the distinctions between the value of a larger gathering v a smaller one. But to be inspiring you need to be ‘inspired’.
And sometimes you just aren’t!