No offense pastors, but nobody cares how much you love to preach.
I preach every Sunday and have enjoyed doing so for three decades. As I write this post at 37,000 feet on a 787 airplane, I am genuinely looking forward to preaching this Sunday! After having been away for a couple of Sundays, I have some fire shut up in my bones!
When I get back, the people I pastor will want to hear how much I missed them, not how much I missed preaching to them. Our people like knowing that we love our job, but remember that they are our job. Your love for God and his Word is admirable, but if your heart is not burning with love for those you feed, you are, perhaps, coming off as “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).
Your people are interested in your preaching, but only insomuch as you are interested in them.
Silly semantics? My prayer is that you will receive today’s post as a ministry gut check, instead of a preacher’s pet peeve.
Jesus told Peter three times to feed his sheep. What an honor to do so through preaching each week! Peter came out of the Upper Room on fire, and preached to a very responsive crowd at the festival of Pentecost. We never hear Peter saying how much he loved preaching. Instead, we know that his call to love and feed his sheep was based on a love for the sheep and the shepherd.
Why is this topic important enough to write about? Motivation creep slowly hijacks many a good preacher who used to also be a good pastor. This gradual shift of motivation and attention (glory) can happen to you and to me, so let’s keep our guard up!
So if you love to preach the Word, I am genuinely glad! Just make sure you love the author and audience even more.