Last week I was part of the examination committee for a Doctor of Ministry dissertation written by Pastor David Acree from Lethbridge, Alberta. David’s dissertation examined the matter of the preacher’s sense of readiness to preach. I’m pleased to say that he passed the exam and will graduate this spring. The question is interesting. Every pastor knows what it’s like to not quite feel ready to preach. No doubt some of this is simply human. Sometimes we’re tired and under-motivated and there isn’t much to be done for it. But perhaps, given the spiritual nature of our task, we could build a routine that might help intentionalize the process of being ready to go into the pulpit to preach. Acree thinks there is. He counsels the preacher to pay attention to things like their personal sense of identity, their expectations for the event, and the allowance of adequate time. He deals with the expected aspects of prayer and attendance to the Spirit. He challenges preachers to care about the listeners, spending time with them and helping connect them to the Word. “When God’s preacher,” Acree says, “enters the pulpit in God’s power to deliver a message from God appropriate to the people of God, that preacher is ready to preach.” In my own preaching, I would have to say that I know when I am ready and when I am not. I’m not sure the readiness formula is all that surprising. I know what it takes to prepare a solid sermon plan and when that plan is only partially cooked. I know when I’ve rushed things and when I’ve taken the time that is necessary to engage God and to engage the message from His Word. Elsewhere I have written about “assimilation” and I think that this is essentially what we are talking about. When I feel full of the message and the sermon burns inside me I am ready to preach. What God will do with it in result is up to him.
Life, death, hell, and worlds unknown, hang on the preaching and the hearing of a sermon. — Charles Haddon Spurgeon
In This Section
Five Most Recent Articles
- Alumni in Ministry by Dr. Kenton Anderson
- The People who make up Northwest by Loren Warkentin M.T.S.
- Theology Boot Camps for Christian Growth by Eric Fehr
- New (and not so new) faces at Northwest by Loren Warkentin M.T.S.
- Changes by Dr. Kenton Anderson
Five Most Commented Articles
- Immerse Fall Intake on October 1, 2014
- Fall Fundraising Banquets on October 2, 2014 6:00 pm
- Thanksgiving Day on October 13, 2014
- Fall Fundraising Banquets on October 18, 2014 6:00 pm
- MinistryLift Equipping Conference on October 24, 2014 8:30 am
- Immerse Fall Orientation on November 5, 2014 8:30 am
- Immerse Fall Website Training on November 5, 2014 1:30 pm
- Immerse Fall Mentor Training (all day) on November 6, 2014 8:30 am
- Immerse Fall Logos Training on November 6, 2014 8:30 am
- Immerse Fall Exegetical Workshop on November 6, 2014 1:00 pm
View the Large Calendar