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5 Lies Preachers Believe About Preaching

4. I’m the worst preacher in the world.

I don’t know anyone who thinks themselves the best, and I hope no one believes about themselves the worst. Every pastor has a bad day, an off Sunday. Chances are on any given Sunday all of us are the worst preacher in the world. We are fallible. We all have grand slams in the study turn into strike outs in the pulpit. But most neither hit it out of the park nor foul it into the stands week after week. We do well to remember that a string of singles and doubles scores a lot of runs, too.

5. A lack of audible feedback equals a lack of hearing.

Congregations are different. Some say “Amen” or “Preach it” quite a lot. Most pastors love this. For some communicators audible feedback is the connective tissue of receptivity. But not all congregations are comprised thus. Some are more reflective. Among our people are auditory, visual and experiential learners. Attention is given in different ways.

I rely on body language for feedback more than amens. Is anyone asleep? Are people checking their watches? Has a conversation broken out on the fifth row? Has anyone closed their Bible and moved on to Facebook?

Conversely, are eyes facing forward and are they alert? Are notes being taken? Are their nods or head shakes at appropriate places? Are students engaged? One of our campuses has light dimmers for the auditorium. Our lighting techs always make sure the lights are bright enough for me to get the visual cues I need to read as much body language as possible.

Pastor, neither exalt yourself more highly than you ought, nor think more badly about preaching than you should. You may not be as good as you wish, but you probably are not as bad as you fear. Work to improve the craft of preaching, and trust God for His blessing on it. Faithfully teach the Word, for it has the power, and do not believe enemy lies that will haunt your soul and hollow your preaching.

What other beliefs about preaching are you aware of?