“That was a lazy way to make that point!”
This was one thing an older brother in Christ told me over and over as he critiqued my sermon. But his next comment hit harder.
“Hans, you have potential but if you just rely on your gifts and don’t work hard that potential will be wasted!”
Cutting words but true words. They were spoken to me a few years before I planted Resolved. But what I found when I started Resolved is that I didn’t work on my preaching and prayer like I should have. I was happy to arrogantly rely and rest on my gifts instead of putting the hard work in. This meant that my sermons weren’t as good as they should have been and that I haven’t improved as a preacher as much as I should have. It also meant that my prayer life sucked and I now am working hard to get it back on track.
As a pastor my primary job is to be a man of the word and prayer and so I need to give adequate time to these pursuits. A great sermon doesn’t just happen, it comes about through work and sweat and prayer and reading and thinking and practicing and….well you get my drift.
It is easy when you plant a church to neglect the things that don’t seem urgent like preaching and prayer. But these things are vital if we want churches to grow and flourish.
How are you organising your days and weeks so that you can adequately prepare your sermons and you can spend good time in prayer for yourself, your family, your church and your city?
Let’s not be lazy in these things. Let’s be disciplined!