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Thabiti Anyabwile: What I Wish I Had Known About Preaching

Thabiti Anyabwile on Preaching and Pastoral Ministry

Everyone has a mental list of “I wish I had knowns” in their life and that list only grows longer as one gets older. These can be everything from wishing you had known more about someone before that bad date, or the endless “wish I had knowns” as parents look back on the raising of their first child. This is true for preaching as well. Recalling or sharing these can elicit everything from pangs of regret to howling laughter.

Five “Wish I Had Knowns” of Preaching

Pastors in particular have their own set of “wish I had knowns,” especially as it pertains to preaching.  Many a pastor has driven home and for a variety of reasons, thought through ways that he or she will never preach again! Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of Anacostia River Church, winsomely and humbly shares important principles he wished he had known (or known more deeper) when he began preaching on a regular basis:

I wish I had …

• Understood the connection between preaching and shepherding.

• Remembered that preaching is an “act of love.”

• Known that preaching is NOT for emptying all of your theological knowledge into one sermon.

• Known that one sermon isn’t going to fix people, which is why repetition is so important.

• A stronger confidence, patience, and love for God’s people.

Thabiti Anyabwile is one of the pastors for ARC. He has served as an elder and pastor in churches in NC, DC and the Cayman Islands. After a few years as a practicing Muslim, Thabiti was converted under the preaching of the gospel in the Washington DC area. He and his wife, Kristie, have three children. Thabiti is the author of several books, including The Life of God in the Soul of the Church; The Gospel for Muslims; What Is a Healthy Church Member?; The Decline of African-American Theology; and The Faithful Preacher. He blogs regularly at The Front Porch and Pure Church.

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.