Pastor, don’t be afraid to do what God called you to do. Take a moment to reflect back upon your calling. When God called you, he called you to pastor, but the first inclination for most pastors is to preach. God made you into a pastor and a preacher.
Don’t be afraid to preach just like you were called to preach. I practice expository preaching. I preach through books and large sections of the Bible and work to cover all of the material in each section. But occasionally, God gives me sermons that do not fit the general rule. There are times when God shows up in a single verse or even just a few words.
Pastor, when God shows up, do not be afraid to preach what God gives you in the way that he gives it to you. Preaching one verse to the neglect of the rest of the pericope (I didn’t say to ignore the context) may not be technically correct, but it may be still be right and obedient.
Some of our favorite preachers did not preach regularly through books of the Bible. Many of Spurgeon’s sermons could hardly be described as expositional, and yet God used him mightily.
Maybe expositional preaching is not your sugar stick. Perhaps you preach topical sermons every week, but God has given you a burden for Romans. Don’t be afraid to preach. Don’t be afraid to proclaim the message God gives you even if it doesn’t fit your plan or your style.
Pastors, we can fall prey to the temptation to neglect the unction of God’s Spirit. We can lose sight of the boyhood call that many of us felt. It may sometimes do us good to reflect upon the sermons we preached in our teens or in our early twenties. In those early sermons we had no idea what we were doing, we only knew that we had been called and God had given us a word.
Pastor, preach the Word. Don’t be afraid if it seems too simple or too hard. Preach the Word. Don’t fear if God leads you to read two chapters one morning and then sit down. Perhaps your people need to hear the Sermon on the Mount more than they need to hear your sermons about it.
Pastor, preaching is a tiring and taxing task. John Piper writes, “All genuine preaching is rooted in a feeling of desperation. You wake up on a Sunday morning and you can smell the smoke of hell on one side and feel the crisp breezes of heaven on the other.” In the midst of this spiritual struggle, work to always give God control of your preaching calendar, and when he sees fit to tear up your preaching calendar and lead you in a different direction.
In our evolving church culture changing the sermon can alter an entire service and affect countless volunteers and staff. Modifying the theme or abandoning the original text can be a monumental shift. But, as difficult as the change may be, there is greater danger in neglecting the Spirit’s guiding than in inconveniencing your church leadership.
Pastor, preach the Word! Do it in season and out of season. And, when it seems as though there is nothing left for you to do, remember your calling. He didn’t call us to this sacred ministry because we were wise, he called us because we were willing to speak his words.