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Questions from the Pulpit.

August 16, 2010

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?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Erik Burklin permalink
    August 16, 2010 10:49 am

    I think you ARE right on…no matter how much we prepare for our sermons there will always be this sense of inadequacy. That is actually good…it keeps us humble. We are finite and only He is infinite. Preach on brother; as long as you stay humble and always prayed over you will do just fine. For the HS is in you and greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. Since Christ is IN you even things you say that are “not scripted” come from Him and not from you….they are His words. Wow, pretty awesome to think that when we open our mouths on Sunday mornings behind the pulpit we can have the confidence that Jesus is speaking through us. Preach on brother…may He continue to use you for His glory and His purposes.

    Praying for you….

    Erik

  2. August 16, 2010 10:51 am

    I’ve heard ministers refer to this dilemma before. Often the sermon that they thought was such a bomb turns out to be exactly what someone was needing to hear that day. Or the sermon that they worked for hours on and imagined a great chorus of amens from instead draws a fog of yawns…

    Don’t beat yourself up!

    As a listener, I appreciate a sermon that is thoughtfully prepared and that is short on personal “rabbit trails”. One that is relevant to my real life circumstances, that challenges me to grow as a Christian, and one that expresses Gods great love to me.

    Well, I’m going to stop there before I start to preach…LOL

    Bless You Brother!

  3. Joel Helveston permalink
    August 19, 2010 2:26 pm

    dude, as long as you don’t have too much more than fruit punch and cupcakes, i think you’ll be alright.

  4. Paul Terrones permalink
    August 28, 2010 11:10 pm

    The first time I heard you share a message with our group at Redlands I knew it was more than just Jason speaking. Back then you had it right and I’m sure that is still the case today because of the strength of your faith. I just wanted to share a word of encouragement because you always did the same for me and everyone else. He knew what He was doing (of course) when He picked you and that is easy to see, hear and feel when you share His message. Much Love…

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