A dear mentor and pastor once said to me, “Sundays come along with alarming regularity.” These past few years as a preaching pastor, those words have sunk in.
I love preaching. I love reading and studying God’s Word. There are few things I love more than to read a text out loud, then explain it to a group of listening ears. I’ve learned in my preparation, and they will learn from me in my presentation. Teaching is a gift from the Lord that I cherish. I make it a part of my livelihood during the week as well as on weekends. I love my church. I am happy with my work and very glad to do it. But…
…preaching is hard work. Each week, I stand in front of our small church and teach them the Scriptures, and I know some things I have to say are hard. I also know that some things I have to say are difficult for me to follow myself. “Love one another as I have loved you,” is a hard teaching for a man who wants complete silence most of the time. I love people, but I love solitude a little bit more. Some weekends I think, “What if I could just have today off too?” I’m jealous of the folks I see driving toward the lake. I’m more jealous of the ones who sleep in. On Saturday, as I finish preparing the next day’s message, I’m sometimes tempted by an old sermon. I’m more tempted by a sermon someone else preached on the same text.
Why do I continue? Romans 10 rings in my ears when I think of just sitting in the pews…
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.Romans 10:14-17
Of course, I’m not the only preacher out there. However, I am the preacher for my small flock. The Lord has used me in the past despite my failings, and I trust he’ll use me again. So, I press on.
Pray for your pastor. Pray that he’ll preach the Scriptures faithfully. Encourage him when you see him. Sundays come along with alarming regularity, and some weekends, he’d rather have two Saturdays.