What I Learned The First Time I Preached
I preached my first sermon last Sunday.
I'm so grateful for you, Sovereign Grace Church. Thanks for being the kind of church that equips men to lead, study, and preach the Word. Thank you for your encouragement, both before and after the service. But most of all, thanks for being a church that makes Christ their treasure above all!
Preaching on the topic of the surpassing gift of God Himself is easier when you're preaching to people who do it. And this you do well.
Now they say the way to learn to preach is to preach. Study and observation only go so far and I can confirm this. With one sermon under my belt, I've already learned:
Preaching is hard work.
I have a deeper sense for what our pastors do every week. It really is labor. Preaching takes effort, both head and heart. They aren't just enjoying extending "quiet times" in their bible.
Preaching is not about the preacher.
Preaching is about shepherding the church and glorifying God. The preacher loves Jesus and then loves the church like he loves Jesus. Humor has it's place, but I learned humor doesn't always serve the sermon. I felt the pull to want to be funny, but that would only have given you more of me.
Preaching is about the preacher.
Paradox alert! Even though preaching has little to do with the preacher, it is a little bit about the preacher. Not that he is the center of attention or anything. But immersing yourself in the Scriptures and preparing to deliver a sermon does a preacher's soul good.
I was also really encouraged by everyone sharing how God spoke to them personally. It made me think that preachers may be those best positioned to benefit from their own sermons. Funny how it works this way.
So thank you. You made learning to preach my first sermon a real blessing. I'm amazed at what God can do with my less-than-perfect attempts at loving you.