Preparing To Preach… The Word and The Walk
I believe that too much attention is given at times to the technical aspects of preaching and not enough time to the spiritual character of the preacher. I speak first about the preacher for this reason. It is not the preaching that determines the preacher nearly as much as the preacher that determines the preaching. God is far more interested in preparing the man than He is in the man preparing the message. The preacher must not just preach what he learns; he must preach what he lives.
The Preacher Must Get A Word From God
I believe that every pastor and preacher should have the unshakable conviction that he has been called by God to pastor and preach.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” (1 Timothy 12, NIV)
There is a dangerous trend today that minimizes the call of God on a man’s life that I think is very dangerous. I am convinced we have many men today who are pastoring and preaching who have never been called. There was a young man who preached his first sermon and after it was over he went to the Pastor Emeritus of the church, who had been in the ministry for many years and said, “Do think I have been called?” The wise old pastor said, “Son, you may have been called, but I believe it was local and not long distance.”
There have been times in my life when I have doubted my conversion. There has never been a time in my life when I doubted my calling. If you cannot look in the mirror and say with conviction that Jesus Christ Himself put you into the ministry, then you should not be in the ministry.
The Preacher Must Have A Walk With God
One of the greatest temptations we all face is to get so busy in our working for God that we neglect walking with God. You may impress other people with your work, but God is only impressed with your walk.
God is more interested in your walking with Him than He is in your talking for Him. Years ago a survey was done of one of the largest, well-known, theological seminaries in our country in which 93% of the students studying for the ministry stated “I do not have a regular devotional life.” Both the quality and the impact of your preaching will never rise above the quality of the time you spend with God alone. I use three primary tools in my quiet time: a Bible, a notebook (spiritual journal), and a quiet place.
Author: Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor of Cross Pointe Church and host of Touching Lives