Mike’s Musings ….
I’m Getting Ready to Preach
There’s a friend of mine that no matter when he might call me, even several times a day, will always begin his conversation with, “Hey, whatcha doing?” There are times when he calls me that what I’m doing is none of his business and other times when I’m not very busy at all. I suspect his initial inquiry is out of habit more than sincere curiosity. He is a Christian, but usually has lots of questions. I’m always willing to help him, but when I tell him, “I’m getting ready to preach,” or something else having to do with this work, he is quick to say, “Oh, well I’ll get you some other time,” and hangs up. True, I’m trying to get myself prepared to preach or teach or go to hear some preaching or teaching, or some other important work; but I’ll still take what time I can to help him or anyone else with their spiritual understanding.
The fact is, getting ready to preach isn’t something you just “do”. It takes a lot of thought, searching, considering the perspective audience, and most importantly, PRAYER! It isn’t a matter of opening my Bible, letting my eyes fall on just any passage, and developing a sermon from a few thoughts. Getting ready to preach any sermon usually starts soon after I finished preaching the last one! When I go to hear some other preacher, I listen carefully and from his sermon, endeavor to find some point that triggers the development of another sermon. When I’m reading, sermon ideas come to mind and I find writing them down immediately helps me to remember the thought and think on it more fervently. Then, once the thoughts are developed, setting it in order, praying about it, considering the potential audience, and getting it ready for delivery takes place. Often, it takes a week or so, and seldom less than a full day.
It isn’t a complaint I issue, but rather a degree of delight! I knew a man who in the summertime would take his dandelion poker and go through his yard uprooting dandelions and other weeds. A neighbor once asked him, “Whatcha doin’?” and his answer was, “I’m getting my sermon ready.” It left the questioner somewhat dumbfounded, but the old preacher made his point: he was always thinking about sermons!
Now muse with me: Is this not what Paul told us all do when he wrote Timothy saying, “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that they profiting may appear unto all.” (1 Timothy 4:15) If you’re not thinking about sermons (i.e., God’s things) what are you doing?