The Burden of Preaching

My fingers are furiously flinging along the keys of my Chromebook keyboard, oh yeah! that’s clever! No, that doesn’t fit there, ok… maybe that will work.

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This racket is happening on Wednesday, my main day to prepare the meat and bones of my Sunday morning sermon. Sometimes it’s seems such a mundane task until I realize the great burden of what I am doing. I am preparing to preach God’s Word to God’s People!

Sometimes I am locked into such a routine preparing the message I push out of mind the great task I am undertaking.

But here is the reality, preaching every Sunday morning is a massive burden. No matter if there are 15 people in the wooden pews, or 20,000 in an amphitheater there is a huge responsibility to communicate God’s Word to a crowd of people-God’s people. 

This is such a big responsibility because reality is many people only get “fed” on Sunday morning. The songs, the Scriptures, the sermon is the only exposure to God’s word they are going to get that week. 

As a preacher it is my burden to spur on interest, to encourage conversations, to sow seeds of life-change rooted in Jesus.

There is a verse in the Bible that resonates with me when I ponder this burden, James, the brother of Jesus said, “Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1 (NLT)

Since the burden of Biblical preaching or teaching is so great, here are 4 things I do to avoid the temptation of treating the preparation to preach trivially:

1. PRAY

This is so important. Crafting a message to preach involves many steps and processes but nothing beats kneeling humbly before our Lord and just asking for guidance!

2. KEEP LEARNING 

I use the opportunity to write a sermon as a time to learn. I never go into a Scripture of topic thinking I know it all and I have it all figured out. There is always some new insight or nugget of truth or challenge to find!

3. LOVE PEOPLE 

A preacher who looks at his people with disdain or anything but an unending and sacrificial love will not have any positive impact on them. But one who loves them and leads them sacrificially will gain the privilege to speak Jesus into their lives- the lives of God’s people!

4. LOVE GOD 

To preach without a love of God is not only empty it is blasphemous. The burden of preaching is rooted in a love of God, without it preaching becomes something less. Something much less.

 

I wanted to open up my writing on RookiePreacher by conversing about this burden because it exemplifies why Brandon and I are starting this venture. We want to share with and grow with the church leadership community through the discussion of preaching and leadership. 

We don’t take preaching and leading lightly and we continually work to get better at it. 

We know you do too!

The burden of preaching is real, the burden of being an upfront leader in the church is real. 

So, please join us in this journey!

 

Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Grape Grove Church of Christ in Jamestown, Ohio. He is newly married to his awesome wife Jenna and together they have 2 spoiled dogs and a cat.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God’s word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.