So I didn’t intend to do a series of posts on preaching, but I was so frustrated on Friday I would have built an office tower out of tooth picks to avoid writing the message.
It finally came together Saturday by noon. I just hung out and played with the family for the rest of Saturday, reading it over before bed. Sunday I woke up terribly nervous about it, and rewrote elements before 6 a.m. I was having panic attacks about the message’s dreadfulness. (Preachers understand what I’m talking about.)
We have two services. At 8:30 I felt it really got a shaky start, but then I got on a "roll". Don’t know what else to call it. But I found myself saying things I really wanted to say but mostly hadn’t planned to say. At least not the way they came out. It felt like a service with some anointed moments. But when I sat down I asked my wife Toni how it went and she said "Good, but did you plan on using the Bible in your message at some point?" I got so caught up in it that "moment" I actually forgot to read from the Bible. I had Matthew 7 ready to go on the screen – had prepped for it. Flat out forgot it. Not good.
So, I actually dropped a personal story from the message at the 10:00 service and read from the Bible and still felt like it was a moment God has somehow orchestrated. Praying God uses it.
We captured both services on video but this week I opted to use the 10:00 as our download service (I’ll often ask the tech gurus to use 8:30 if I thought it went "better"). The message should be accessible here by late Monday (or just download the video or audio podcast off iTunes). It’s called "What Christians Can Learn from the East".
At the end of it all, preaching is this strange dance where you know it’s really all God and yet you have to do your part, in faith, and offer it up to Him. But somehow, that often comes with a lot of drama inside.
Oh yeah…gotta start writing for next weekend…and outline the next two series – one on sex called XXX: Does God Like Sex? Got another for June on family issues tentatively called Elephant in the Family Room. Sundays come around with amazing regularity around here.
Thanks for listening. Praying for you preachers and thanks for everyone’s prayers. I needed (and need) them, and am grateful for you.