Questions from the Pulpit.
As my preaching matures as fast as a white kid learning to pop-n-lock, the questions I ask myself seem to change. Lately in my “Sunday Slump” (The Sunday Slump is the bane of a preacher’s existence. This recurring depression is referred to as Dark Monday or Bread Truck Monday. Well, I get hit with this feeling on Sunday afternoon, hence the different name. It is a difficult reality of the herald of the Lord. Each week on Sunday afternoon I feel like my sermon was unclear, offensive, and just plain bad. Not only so, but I wonder if anyone will come back or if they have just had it with me. It is a cloud of sadness and fear that haunts the keeper of every pulpit.) I have been reflecting more and more on whether or not my sermon was right.
Is that right? I ask myself every week follow a sermon. I file back through every statement, every reference, and every claim in my sermon and wonder if I got it right. Though I spend the entire week previous praying, reading, thinking, praying, writing, and praying I still have a dark sense of inaccuracy.
This issue is only complicated by my style. I preach without notes. Therefore my messages are both preconceived and felt in the moment. This means that sometimes I say things I did not plan on saying or think about before in an exact way. Some cringe at the thought of such a seemingly haphazard posture in preaching and others passionately embrace it. I do both.
Above style and art, however, I desperately want to be accurate. I want my preaching to fit the context of the passage, the book, and the larger meta-narrative of Scripture. It is my desire to communicate that which God is saying. I want to know, is that right?