As someone who feels called to preach and teach, I continue to feel the weight of what that means. The pulpit is truly a scary place; the preacher is charged with speaking the Word of God to God’s people. That fact alone humbles me greatly. With this in mind, I began to ask God how to properly handle this calling as I move forward. The following points poured out of me.
- I am to be God’s mouthpiece in a dark world. The hope we have in Christ, no other entity will bring. No humanitarian organization, no other religion will bring this—the one life-changing, eternal message—to the hurting world. This must always be my primary message.
- I refuse to entertain for entertainment’s sake. It’s nice to be funny and talented, but those things will never replace Scripture. In fact, they can get in the way when seen as the end as opposed to a tool to that end. I am called to win people for Christ not my particular church or personal charisma. Besides, I’m never as cool as I think I am.
- My role as a teacher is to open up Scripture before the church and let its bouquet fill the room so that it might work as only it can: bringing people face to face with God, with themselves, and with the grace that fills the gap.
- I am to bring my best to God and his people. I will be prepared enough to allow for the Holy Spirit to truly work. I will refuse to “borrow” messages from other pastors; it’s plagiarism and does not allow God to bring his specific message to my local church.
- I will have the courage to preach the Biblical message in its entirety as God reveals it to me, even when the message may be unpopular or counter-cultural.
- I will bring myself to the pulpit every time. I will not try to hide who I really am, but instead allow God to shine through my cracks. Who I am is my ministry, not what I teach.
- If I ever lose the wonder of God’s grace and forget the power of the Gospel, I will recuse myself from teaching and preaching for a time in order to take care of my spiritual life. I cannot teach what I don’t know.