Preaching and Self Discovery

I had the chance to preach at my home church this Sunday. It was a great experience communicating with my church family.

And I learned a few things about myself through the preparation and delivery of this sermon as I reflected on it. Things that seemed more tangible than other time I’d preached. See if there are some here you’ve experienced if you’ve ever preached.

1. Preaching causes me to pray more.

I was on my knees more this past week than I have been in a long time. I needed a fresh word from God, fresh insights, and a message that was True.

2. Preaching causes me to study more.

I can’t just pull a message out of thin air. I have to study the Scriptures a lot in order to prepare a message. It was a rich time for me.

3. Preaching humbles me.

a) Knowing I’m preaching the Scriptures and people are learning them through that preaching…that’s both humbling and intimidating.

b) Knowing I’m being prayed for…that’s humbling, too. I can’t tell you how many people I heard from directly offering an encouraging word of prayer. It was powerful.

4. Preaching causes me to worship more deeply.

I felt a deeper dependence on God than on normal weeks, and I consequently felt a deeper level of worship.

5. Preaching causes me to be more aware of God’s presence

As I was working to craft my message, I was processing it throughout my days. As I went about my normal activities, I felt more aware of God’s presence as I was consistently ruminating over deep truths.

6. Preaching stretches me.

I’m used to writing blogs and articles.  A blog is typically less than a page of typed notes. An article is 2-3. I had 10 pages of single-spaced, typed notes, for my 30 minute sermon.

7. Preaching refines my thoughts.

I’m an external thinker. Which means that, in order for me to make sense of my thoughts, I need to express them externally. Typically, that clarity for me comes through writing. Preaching is another way that I externalize, and refine, my thoughts.

8. Preaching gets me fired up.

The more I meditate on the Scriptures, and what I’ll be communicating, the more I get fired up about sharing the Truth. I was pumped, not nervous, when I came out on stage.

9. Preaching reminds me that pastors can be lonely people.

The role of a pastor can be lonely. I studied by myself, prepared the message by myself, and delivered the message by myself, alone on stage. Afterwards, I criticized myself for things I should’ve done differently. A pastor may be in the spotlight, but there has been a lot of alone time leading up to that sermon.

10. Preaching drains me.

Preaching takes a lot of energy, because not only are you spending extra time during the week preparing, you’re also pouring your heart and soul into speaking.  I put a lot of emotion…not banging the pulpit though, mind you…into my preaching. I was exhausted last night.

Do any of these observations resonate with your experience?

Previous articleBen Arment: The Cost of Influence
Next article4 Things I Want from Those Who Serve with Me
Ben Reed
Ben Reed is the small groups pastor at Long Hollow, a multi-site church in the Nashville, TN, area. He holds an Mdiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ben is also an avid coffee drinker and CrossFitter, but not at the same time. Catch up with Ben at BenReed.net. In his book, "Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint," he helps leaders through the process of putting a small group ministry together and creating a place where people belong so they can become.